Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

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Parliamentary Record 6


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 studying in evening classes at Centralian College. I was informed that there is a federal government push to extend hours o f operation to cater for after-hours care. The normal operating time is from about 7.30 am to about 5.30 pm on weekdays. There is a proposal to extend those times from early in the mornings until about 9.30 pm. At present, no extra funds are available to help pay for the cost o f extending the hours o f operation of child care. However, we were able to calculate that to run the service for an additional 4 hours would require the services o f 2 extra persons, one of whom would need to be qualified in child care. The extra cost in wages would amount to some $48 000. To generate such an amount in such a way that the extended services would be self-funding would mean charging $18 for each child for a 4-hour session, with a minimum o f 10 children per session. The quandary for the child-care centre is whether it could generate consistent use o f the facility and whether there are enough parents with children needing 40 child-care hours per evening. It is my intention to seek industry and Centralian College input to determine whether there is a will on the part o f the employers and education providers to have child-care facilities offered to their employees or their students. If there is corporate sponsorship for such a service, it would be feasible to maintain and extend the present service for 4 hours each evening. Anecdotally, I have encountered several shift-working parents, working single parents and single parent students who would welcome an extended hours child-care service. If these impressions are converted into utilisation, there is a real need. The next happy school duty I undertook was to talk to Year 12 students who were undertaking computer studies. This talk was given to them a few scant weeks before their final examinations. I was invited to speak to the students who were preparing a paper on the confidentiality and privacy aspect o f computerised medical records. The students were to prepare a report as if they were consultants to a medical practitioner who had contracted them to provide a complete computerised system for the maintenance o f medical records and accounts. What was interesting was not so much the topic but the questions that came from the students. What interested them was the system o f security and privacy through which the information was handled. They wanted to know how the records could be protected from outside access, from deliberate copying, from the dissemination o f sensitive information and from wrongful use o f personal medical information without the prior consent o f the person to whom the information applies. Privacy and confidentiality are 2 separate issues. I draw this matter to the attention o f members as it is important for us also, as politicians, to be cognisant o f it. We collect information on our constituents and some o f that information is rather sensitive. Most, if not all o f us, would store the information in computer databases. Mrs Padgham-Purich: I dont. Dr LIM: You have to catch up with the times, Noel. Although we treat the information with absolute confidentiality, we need to ask ourselves whether the privacy o f the constituent is being impinged on by the way we collect and use the information. I pose the question to members for their consideration. 1864