Page 5469 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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cemeteries, including the ACT government and the ACT Public Cemeteries Authority, and from community groups, individuals and religious denominations. The committee received 11 submissions and held four public hearings during October.

The Minister for Transport and City Services and the ACT Public Cemeteries Authority provided the committee with a detailed submission. In total 12 recommendations have been made by the committee. The recommendations all reflect that community preferences for burial and interment practices are shifting and it is important that we acknowledge this shift in the planning, management and operation of ACT cemeteries.

In light of the shift in burial and interment preferences, the committee recommends that: the planned extension of Woden Cemetery be reconsidered; the government proceed with the current plans for the southern memorial park as an urgent priority; and a second crematorium for Canberra be considered as a high priority. The committee also recommends that a review be undertaken to ascertain the feasibility and financial basis for adopting a renewable tenure scheme for burial plots.

Submissions to the inquiry demonstrated a strong preference for public provision of burial and interment services; therefore the committee recommends that the management and operation of ACT cemeteries continue to be the responsibility of the ACT cemeteries authority. The committee also recommends that the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 be reviewed where the committee’s recommendations may require it.

The committee believes that its inquiry was a useful and timely means of looking at the current and future administration of ACT cemeteries. The committee appreciates the input it received from the community and from all parts of the ACT funeral sector.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Health, Ageing and Community Services—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (5.44): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services.

At a private meeting on 21 November 2017, the committee resolved to conduct an inquiry into the future sustainability of health funding in the ACT. In agreeing to undertake the inquiry, the committee notes that a feature of Australia’s health system is that both the Australian and state and territory governments fund public hospitals with some private funding; state and territory governments fund the majority of the hospital system in Australia, at approximately a 50 per cent share; the Australian government funds a major share of private hospital costs, albeit indirectly through the private health insurance rebate, which is uncapped up to 35 per cent; the ACT government expenditure on health is $1.63 billion in 2017-18, or 31 per cent of

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