Page 235 - Week 01 - Thursday, 12 February 2015

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Interestingly, Kep Enderby’s first speech in the federal parliament focused on the political under-representation of citizens of the ACT. He was speaking long before self-government, of course, and at a time when the ACT had no Senate representation. But the point he was making then unfortunately still echoes to some extent today.

In 2013 Kep Enderby wrote in the Australian that he could not support the re-election of the Rudd government, citing disappointment with Labor’s policies towards asylum seekers and Julian Assange. The same newspaper recently eulogised him thus:

Kep Enderby was a lifelong champion of human rights, civil liberties and the underdog.

My sincerest condolences, on behalf of the ACT Greens, to his family and friends.

Question resolved in the affirmative, members standing in their places.

Health—priorities for 2015

Ministerial statement

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (10.29), by leave: Today I am pleased to speak about the continued investment this Labor government is making in the area of health services in the ACT and the importance we attach to maintaining this investment. The Labor government to date has delivered strong results for the people who use, rely upon and work in our world-class healthcare system, and as the new health minister I am looking forward to making sure that the people of Canberra continue to have access to first-class health care, as also I do for those in the surrounding region.

The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, walk-in centres in Tuggeranong and Belconnen, community health centres in Gungahlin, Belconnen and Tuggeranong, a new adult mental health unit and the Canberra Region Cancer Centre, as well as numerous investments in equipment and information technology, all demonstrate how this government has made improving our healthcare system a priority. It is important that we continue to make these necessary investments, to make sure that we not only give the sick, injured and unwell the care they need but also have in place preventative policies and services that will help ease the high demand on our healthcare system.

As the relatively new Minister for Health, my focus and my priorities will continue to include ensuring that the health infrastructure program continues to enable Canberrans to get the right care at the right time in the right place; promoting proactive health initiatives and steps to manage the growing level of obesity in our community; and raising awareness of mental health issues and improving access to services for people who need that care.

There is no doubt, Madam Speaker, that the recent cuts in funding in the area of health from the federal Liberal government must be condemned in the strongest terms.

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