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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (15 March) . . Page.. 620..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

There is a new 14-bed medical assessment planning unit; the new 60-bed sub-acute and non-acute service at Calvary Hospital, which the minister opened just recently; the 900 new aged care beds currently under construction or in the planning pipeline—900 new aged care beds, as opposed to the Liberal Party's 14! (Time expired.)

MS MacDONALD: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. What would be the impact on the delivery of these services you talk about if the government was to abandon significant revenue measures such as the fire and emergency services levy, the water abstraction charge, the utilities network facilities charge and the land tax regime?

Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. That is a hypothetical question and it is out of order.

MR SPEAKER: That is a hypothetical question.

Ms MacDonald: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: I have just asked the Chief Minister and Treasurer to outline what services are provided. There is very real talk about abolishing, for example, the land tax regime, so there would be an impact.

MR SPEAKER: Notwithstanding, it was a hypothetical question and they are out of order.

Mr Stanhope: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: the question was, and I think you need to look to the wording: can the Treasurer inform the Assembly of the value of the ACT economy in ensuring continued provision of quality services to the people of the ACT? I outlined that. The supplementary question is: what would be the impact on the delivery of those services if the government was to abandon these particular taxes?

MR SPEAKER: It is a hypothetical question and it is out of order.

Sustainability

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Chief Minister in his role as the minister in charge of sustainability policy and it is in relation to sustainability issues. Since the splitting of sustainability between the Chief Minister and the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, I note with concern, sustainability legislation has been put on hold and there is still no sign of a discussion paper. It has been more than a year since the greenhouse and energy discussion papers were released, yet there is no sign of the strategy papers. A state of the environment report is due this year, yet the position of Commissioner for the Environment has been vacant for three months. Could you please advise the Assembly when your office intends to action these important areas of sustainability?

MR STANHOPE: Dr Foskey, there is a separation of responsibility between me and the minister for the environment and sustainability in relation to policy issues around the environment, but it is not correct to say that I am the minister responsible for sustainability. I am the minister with responsibility for water and energy policy. Mr Hargreaves is the minister with responsibility for sustainability. There is a


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