Page 2412 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 August 2015

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the influx of 650 new employees into the area during the day. I commend the ACT government for this significant investment in the Gungahlin town centre.

Recommendation 104 is on sustainable health funding. During the hearings we heard from the Minister for Health and the chief financial officer of the Health Directorate about the impact on our healthcare system of the cuts in commonwealth funding. The cuts will particularly affect the ACT in the 2016-17 financial year when the current funding agreement comes to an end. The new agreement moves from activity-based to population-based funding that has no regard for the level of acuity in the community or how sick people are. The budget estimates account for $228 million less funding over the next three years than would have been received under the current agreement.

The Abbott government cuts will have a disastrous effect on our elective surgery rates, our emergency departments and a whole range of other activities. Our state and territory colleagues, no matter their political allegiance, agree. To this effect, the committee recommends that the government continue to work with all first ministers and the commonwealth to ensure sustainable health funding so that we can continue to deliver the high quality health services our community requires.

Recommendation 118 is on child and family friendly space at Clare Holland House. A particular concern raised with me recently is the way that we accommodate and care for paediatric respite patients. At present Clare Holland House does not have a specific paediatric room although families are encouraged to amend the room to make it as comfortable as they wish. The committee notes that there is an opportunity to create a more child and family friendly space and provide specialist paediatric staff at the centre at least when children are being treated. We made a recommendation to that effect.

I have two families in my electorate that have raised these issues with me in my time as an MLA and I know how important it is to these families during such a difficult time. I would like to particularly acknowledge the Anthoney and Wills families for their insight and thoughts on these issues and their commitment to their children, Dainere and Benny, both lost tragically through cancer. Their memories are passionately lived on through the work of the Wills and Anthoney families, and I hope that this recommendation can be agreed to and some work can continue on this front.

Recommendation 132 is on school zones and road safety. School zone safety is an ongoing concern and was highlighted by the Chief Minister, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and the minister for education again earlier this week at Ainslie school. Minister Burch with both her hats on, as minister for police and also minister for education, outlined the government’s focus on improving road safety in school zones in the recent ACT Policing ministerial direction. Driving behaviours such as the use of mobile phones, not wearing seatbelts and responding inappropriately to parking frustrations can create unsafe conditions for our children around schools.

The minister has advised that there will be a stronger ACT Policing presence around school zones. The committee welcomes this and in response recommends that the

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