Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 790..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
was six years. It did not open until February of this year. It was six years. That is good governance!
When will the retirement village project at Calvary that was approved in August 2001 by the cabinet of which I was proud to be a part open? We do not know because it has not finished; more than six years later it is still being built. Why? It is because of the poor governance of the government led by Jon Stanhope, the lack of attention to detail and the failure of ministers to drive their portfolios.
There is no better example, of course, than the health precinct that the former Minister for Health, Mr Corbell, proposed. He put out a press release on 20 September 2005 in which he said that they were going to build a mental health services precinct that would have 30 acute care beds, 20 adult acute care beds, 15 high-security beds and 20 acute care beds for young people. Where is that at? Remember, the press release was in September 2005. It is now May 2007, two years later. Have we seen a plan? Have we seen any progress reports on it? Do we see capital works reports that detail it? No, because of the ineptitude of the former minister and the failure of this government to deliver on capital works.
You only have to look at the last capital works report we have, which has $300,000 in it for this project. How much of that have they spent? They have spent $11,000. When will this health precinct open? What did Mr Corbell promise? He said that it would open in 2008. He has not delivered on this one. That is why he has lost his portfolio. It is because he does not deliver. He, like all the other ministers in this government, makes promises that he does not keep. Here we have a mental health precinct that is due to open, to have beds, to have patients being looked after, by some time in 2008, yet we do not have a cent for it in the budget for construction. We have not seen plans.
The current Minister for Health is the third health minister in six years under the Stanhope Labor government. There was Stanhope himself, followed by Corbell, followed by Gallagher. The current minister is the third health minister who has not delivered on capital works, because these beds will not be open in 2008. The health precinct will probably go the way of all of Mr Corbell's other pet projects-the en globo land release that he did not like, the busway that Mr Hargreaves has finally driven a stake through the heart of and, of course, the mental health precinct-as the government eradicates all of the memory, all of the pet projects, of Mr Corbell because of the bitter politics of the Labor Party.
The losers are the members of the public-the ill Canberrans, the sick Canberrans, the families, the friends and the people you know at work-who need this mental health precinct and who are not getting it. We have had stories recently of patients who are ill being sent home from the current psychiatric services unit because people who are even more sick need their beds. I have been approached in my office about people who were turned away because it was full. The current PSU is running at an occupancy rate of about 94 per cent, which virtually means that it is full. It is full all the time and we have an uncaring government which does not pay attention to the real issues in health.
If we go to capital works and look at things such as car parking at the Canberra Hospital we find that the Canberra Hospital, according to the FOI details I have, is