Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 19 October 2016



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 19 October 2016

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Parliamentary Record 1


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 65 to 124


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 19 October 2016 119 It is planned to complete the NDIS rollout in the Territory by June 2019. The NDIS will change the face of the disability sector by increasing support for people with a disability. Once fully operational, a total of $204m in joint Territory/Commonwealth funding will be available for support in the Northern Territory. As part of the full implementation of the scheme, existing legislation, including the Disability Services Act, will be reviewed and amended to reflect the changing role of the Territory government in relation to disability service provision. We will also work with the National Disability Insurance Agency and providers to implement a registration process for providers wanting to participate in NDIS support. In addition to the landmark rollout of the NDIS, another initiative that will impact significantly on health service provision in the NT will be the commissioning of the new Palmerston hospital in 2018. This government is committed to delivering a hospital for the people of the rural area and Palmerston. We have already visited the site, and we are working as efficiently as we can to deliver this long-overdue and highlyanticipated project. We will closely monitor the project every step of the way to make sure there are no more delays. We have seen enough of those. I was involved with the Public Accounts Committee when it looked into the Palmerston hospital, and I have continued with the body of work from that role. In responding to His Honours address, I have focused on only a few key areas of the of the Health portfolio. There are significant challenges confronting Northern Territory health services as they strive to improve health and wellbeing within our community. We have fabulous Department of Health staff and fabulous people on the front line, who provide essential services to our community. At some point in everyones life, they or an immediate family member will need to access services within the Department of Health. I take this opportunity to thank all staff within Health for what they do in improving the lives and health of Territorians across the Territory, particularly at a time of crisis when we need them most. There are a number of projects within Health. We will be planning for the future of Royal Darwin Hospital, developing a 10-year infrastructure plan, and determining future requirements to service mental health, rehabilitation and supported accommodation. Mr McCARTHY: A point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker! Pursuant to Standing Order 43, I request an extension of time for the member. Motion agreed to. Ms FYLES: We will be master planning the hospital campuses; there will be money to relocate the Katherine ambulance station, and I look forward to the opening of the new clinic at Ngukurr and clinics currently under construction at Robinson River, Galiwinku, Numbulwar and Umbakumba. Another issue that has been in the media in the early days of me being the minister is the PET scanner. Thanks to the combined efforts of the federal and Territory governments, Territorians have been able to receive chemotherapy and oncology services at the Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre, and that has expanded to other regions in the Territory. But the PET scanner has not been delivered for the Territory yet, and I am pleased to say I have already met with the federal minister and raised the issue with her. Both the federal and Northern Territory governments are committed to delivering the PET scanner for Royal Darwin Hospital. The PET scanner is a crucial piece of equipment for the accurate diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of cancer patients, and it disappoints me every time a Territorian has to get on a plane to access that piece of equipment. The federal government has committed a significant amount of $15m to fund the PET scanner, and the Department of Health is working as quickly as possible in preparing the detailed proposal to ensure this funding is received. I am confident that, working with the federal government, it will be received and the Northern Territory Royal Darwin Hospital will have a PET scanner within the next 18 months to two years. Turning around health outcomes, particularly those which continue to affect Indigenous Territorians, not only requires the best clinical care, but a properly considered strategy which must begin at every stage of a persons life. It is a fact of life that those on the front line of our health services deal with some of the sickest people in the nation, and statistics show that Indigenous Territorians are some of the sickest. But I am looking forward to being the Minister for Health. With an annual budget of more than $1bn, I have been entrusted with a significant responsibility which impacts on the quality of life of Territorians every day. I look forward to the opportunity to address many more of these priority areas for Territory health into the future.

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