Page 3614 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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victims of domestic violence. Equally, we have an important role to make sure that the checks and balances are in place, to make sure, as in the case of any unlawful activity, that the rights of the accused are acknowledged. That is often a difficult balance, but one that we must stay alert to.

We will be supporting this legislation but I would ask the government to heed not only my comments but the comments of the Law Society and of the Bar Association.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.25 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice


MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. On 20 October this year, the Canberra Times published a report headed “Nurses lose confidence in Canberra Hospital management”. The nurses in the intensive care unit, the ICU, say their workplace is subject to unsafe staffing levels. The article quotes the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation ACT secretary as saying that the issues are ongoing. Minister, why aren’t there enough nurses in the ICU?

MR CORBELL: There are.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, why is it that the ANMF is stating that there is not enough staff in ICU, and for how long have patients been subjected to unsafe staffing levels?

MR CORBELL: There are no unsafe staffing levels in the ICU. We have appropriate arrangements in place to cover any absences in terms of the permanent workforce. Those arrangements are ongoing. In relation to why the ANMF adopts that position, I suggest to Mr Hanson that he ask the ANMF.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: How long has it been since you were first made aware of staffing concerns in the ICU?

MR CORBELL: The matter was raised with me initially a number of weeks ago.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, do these staffing issues predate your appointment as health minister?

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