Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 1079..
MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
the Assembly as soon as practicable, once I had that information to give. I am frequently given something that makes me frown and think, "This could be serious"; that is the job of a minister. I did not have anything to tell the Assembly within the fifteen minutes that I could have stood up, other than to say, "Hey guys, I think there's an issue. I'm not sure what it is."
MR PRATT: I have a supplementary question. Minister, why did you claim that you had not made the connection when the facts make it crystal clear that your response did not address one of the key concerns of the committee?
MS GALLAGHER: It was not one of the key concerns of the committee. The concerns of committees are normally in recommendations that they want the government to respond to. The recommendation that related to section 162 (2) of the act, from memory, said that the government should insert into senior executive or executive performance contracts requirements that they meet their statutory obligations. The government noted that response, primarily because we do not have performance contracts, or AWAs, for executives; there are AWAs for chief executives. But it is a chief executive's job to adhere to statutory obligations. We noted it. It fell under the portfolio of public service responsibility. It did not relate to the failure to meet section 162 (2).
As I said, the information that I was given by the department at the time alarmed me. I immediately acted. The Chief Minister immediately acted. We put in place a process to fix this. As information became available, I provided it to everybody, because nobody had picked up on this. I allowed you to have the information that we had on the process to reform in child protection.
MS MacDONALD: Can the Minister for Health please tell the Assembly about the benefits of the government's $10 million grant to the University of Canberra's new school of health sciences under the Canberra plan?
MR CORBELL: I am very pleased to advise the Assembly of the announcement today of a $10 million grant to the people of Canberra through assistance to the University of Canberra's new school of health sciences. This multimillion dollar grant, backed by the Assembly this morning through the third appropriation bill, will support the construction of new facilities for the school of health sciences at the University of Canberra.
The grant, which we want to provide in full during this year, will be used to expedite the construction of the new departments of physiotherapy, allied health and dietetics. One of the first benefits of this grant will be the provision of a significant number of construction jobs, which will add to the economic growth of our territory. In addition, when the new courses come on line, around $36 million per annum will be added to the ACT economy. This is a direct example of the government putting its plans into action, of funding these commitments and of making it happen and making it happen in a way that supports the knowledge-based economy that we want to create for our city's future.
Upon completion, the university will be able to offer 17 new degree courses-a substantial number-for around 440 students. So 440 more Canberrans, interstate students and international students will have the opportunity to come to the University of