Thursday 29 June 2006 - Estimates Committee B (Giddings)


Mr FINCH - Just on this issue of the first year for students being a problem year. Surely that would apply to every first year of study for every student that goes to university that has to move? I am fearful of duplication here of a program that we have established in the north.

Ms GIDDINGS - It is a little bit different in terms of people need to sometimes go back and refresh their skills. Anecdotally, I have met a number of people in Hobart who have expressed an interest in undertaking this education, this training as a nurse. But, for whatever reasons, they can not or will not go to Launceston to undertake it. If we have unmet demand, if there are people who are willing to train in nursing in an area where we need nurses - it is not as if we have an over supply of nurses - or who have been outside of nursing for five or more years and need to come back and renew their skills, then it is important that we offer, if we can, appropriate training, where ever we can.

The university, a few years back, decided to open campuses in other parts of the State not requiring everyone to come to Hobart to undertake certain courses, including law. The first year of law you can do in the north-west. If you take the line that you are starting to go down, you would argue, why? Why offer that in Burnie when it is being offered in Hobart? There is a need. There is a demand, an unmet demand, for this form of training in Hobart and it is not taking away from Launceston. It is not saying that this has to be done at the expense of Launceston. It is a complementary course.

Can I follow that up too and say this is also about supporting the Royal Hobart Hospital because of that issue I raised earlier that student nurses tend to do their training at the LGH or the North West Regional Hospital. We are not getting enough coming down to the Royal so it is a work force issue for us as well.

Mr FINCH - But they do come here to do training from the north?

Ms GIDDINGS - Not enough. Not as many. Stephen is in a much more luxurious than Peter Leslie on this issue.

Ms FORREST - And that is why he is smiling.