Nurses Retraining

The Hon. PAUL GREEN: My question is addressed to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, representing the Minister for Health. Is the Minister aware that a number of experienced and competent nurses are willing to take up nursing again but are effectively prohibited because of an expensive $10,000 re-education course? Given the invaluable service nurses provide to New South Wales, will the Government consider more ways of subsidising the re-entry course, and will the Government provide a more affordable and accessible re-entry course for the many nurses who want to resume their careers after taking time out for their families or for other reasons?

The Hon. Helen Westwood: Good question.

The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: It is a very good question and I thank the member for it. It has again fallen to the Hon. Paul Green to ask a very good question—this time relating to the Health portfolio. We do not hear such questions from those opposite. I suppose at least they have the decency to acknowledge that it is a good question. Put simply, they have not been in a position to ask such questions of the Government since the last election.

The Hon. Luke Foley: Point of order: The Leader of the Government has spent 30 seconds debating the question.

The PRESIDENT; Order! There is no point of order.

The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: I again acknowledge a very good question from the Hon. Paul Green. He has asked a number of similarly good questions in the Health portfolio in the past to which Hansard will show that the Minister for Health has always been prompt in her response. I give the Hon. Paul Green a guarantee that the response of the Minister to this question will be prompt also.