Page 3194 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015

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I think it is sensible that members take the time to consider the government’s response to scrutiny, that we adjourn debate after the in-principle stage today to allow that to occur and for the debate to resume in the next sitting week. This bill reflects a proactive, modern and practical approach to monitoring registered child sex offenders. It also reflects the important fact that the ACT’s children are entitled to this protection because of being a child, without distinction or discrimination. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital—visiting medical officers

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. I am advised that you have set a final date of 4 November 2015 for ACT Health and the ACT Visiting Medical Officers Association, or VMOA, to resolve outstanding VMO contracts. ACT Health had scheduled meetings on 12 and 26 August and 9 September for the purpose of negotiating new VMO contracts. I am advised that these meetings were cancelled by ACT Health because the VMO Association would not agree to provide certain guarantees prior to any meeting. Minister, has ACT Health cancelled contract negotiation meetings with the Visiting Medical Officers Association and, if so, how many times?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. The answer to his question is yes. Regrettably, the VMOA have not agreed to provide certain reassurances ahead of negotiations commencing. These primarily relate—in fact, solely relate—to circumstances in relation to guarantees they are not willing to give that they will challenge the validity of the bargaining agents, the negotiating agents, which are the VMOA and the AMA. The AMA have given those assurances; the VMOA have not.

Therefore, regrettably, my director-general has indicated to the VMOA and the AMA that negotiations scheduled for on a number of occasions have not been able to proceed until those prerequisite conditions have been resolved. The simple reason for this is that it would be a waste of everybody’s time to go through a lengthy negotiation period, and a lot of detail, only to have the VMOA subsequently seek to challenge the validity of the bargaining process, of the negotiating process, and challenge the validity of the entities nominated to that negotiating process, which are the AMA and the VMOA.

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