Territory Stories

Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 18 June 2002



Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 18 June 2002

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Parliamentary Record 5


Question for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Questions for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




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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QUESTIONS -Tuesday 18 June 2002 Territorys regions and create an attractive investment climate. Importantly, these are not just words; it is not just some glossy document. This is about time lines and accountability, and this government will deliver. Madam SPEAKER: I would like to add, Chief Minister, that you can always use the time for papers to actually make a statement on a paper that you would like to table in the House. It would give you more time to actually explain what is in the document. It is something that we have not used a lot this session. Perhaps you and your ministers may think about that - to table papers. Deputy of the Administrator - Appointment Mr WOOD to CHIEF MINISTER This question is to the Chief Minister on behalf on yourself, Madam Speaker, as the member for Braitling. The Deputy of the Administrator, Mrs Sitzler, resigned at the end of last year and left Alice Springs in January 2002. The Chief Minister stated she would make an announcement, but six months have passed and still no appointment. When will you announce the name of the new Deputy of the Administrator? Will it be a woman? Will she be from Central Australia? ANSWER Madam Speaker, thank you, through the member for Nelson, for that question. Can I say that you are slightly pre-empting the statement I will be making tomorrow morning. I think you will be delighted. Madam SPEAKER: So I am not getting an answer today, though? It seems not. Minister for Health and Community Services - Competence Mr DUNHAM to MINISTER for HEALTH and COMMUNITY SERVICES You have admitted in the NTNews that your department is in crisis. In other media, you said that staff are in fear and that communication is a problem in the department. Your colleague, the Minister for Central Australia, has told the media that the Alice Springs Hospital is like a war zone. Three of the most senior staff have departed in the last few months and the CEO is leaving today. Will you finally admit what is evident to everybody; and that is that you are not up to the job? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to answer this question. Today, in a media conference about an hour ago, I announced a very significant review of my department. This will be a review which takes approximately three months, and it will be looking at all aspects of the department. It is going to be putting us in a position where we can say our department will move us forward in a very positive direction so it is able to implement the types of reforms which we are aheady asking them to do. We are looking at a very significant reform agenda in this portfolio. We are looking at things relating to indigenous health, recruitment and retention, hospital improvement strategies. We are looking at a lot of things: tobacco and illicit drugs. We have about 3800 staff in this department, and they are fantastic people; they are very committed workers. I put on the record that I think they do a marvellous job. What we are trying to do is to make sure that the department is adequately placed to implement the policies which we need to as a government. This includes all of our election commitments. We are moving forward, we do not want to look back at the 27 years which were a very sad state of health in the Northern Territory. I do not want to do that. We want to say: Let us move forward; let us have a review. I am happy to say that today I announce that Mr Alan Bansemer, who would be well known to many people in this House, who was formerly the deputy head of Health for the Commonwealth, and was also the head of Health in Western Australia, will be heading a review team. He will be arriving in the Territory next Monday and the review team will be starting from that point of time. There will be other people involved with the review team, including Jennifer Prince, our Under Treasurer, Mr Peter Plummer, the CEO of Education, who was formerly CEO of Health. We will also have the new Commissioner of Pubhc Employment when he takes up his position on 1 July. There will be people from within the department as well: Ms Jenny Cleary, who would be well known to many of you here, plus Dr D D Devanesen, who is also very well known. From Alice Springs we have Ms Lesley Woolf, who is the Executive Director of Nursing in the Alice Springs Hospital. There will also be Bernadette Jago from my office. This is going to be a very significant review. I am happy to say that this morning I have been liasing with unions, particularly the ANF, the Miscellaneous Workers Union, the CPSU, together with the AMA, the division of practice of GPs, plus 247