Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (4 December) . . Page.. 3853..
MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
better, I would suggest she be a little more cautious about how she raises those allegations.
Calvary, for example, operates a similar EM unit. It has a different name; I am just trying to recall it. That has 23-hour short-stay beds as well. These areas are not unusual; they have been set up in most emergency departments to deal with patients, particularly those short-stay patients who can be dealt with in a quick fashion. That is why we have our EMU operating. I do not imagine that it impacts on the collection of statistical data. I reject your allegation but I will take further advice on it, Mrs Burke. To my knowledge, it has had no impact on the statistical collection of information.
Alexander Maconochie Centre
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Attorney-General and is related to the prison project. Minister, on 11 May 2006, you said in the Assembly:
The bottom line is that the project will not cost more than the budget provision. That is the requirement the government has put in place, and that will be the way it is delivered.
Your government is now seeking to fund the prison with an additional $2.5 million in the second appropriation bill. How do you reconcile the inconsistency between your statement of May 2006 and the provision of these additional funds?
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Seselja for the question. Shock, horror, construction costs increase! That results in a need to meet the increasing construction costs. These are not factors entirely within the control of the ACT government. Indeed, it is well accepted that construction costs have risen dramatically in the past six to 12 months. A budget variation of less than five per cent is a very minor variation in the overall context of the budget.
MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, which of the requirements that you claim to have put in place on 11 May 2006 did you fail to put in place, leading to the budget being exceeded?
MR CORBELL: We did not fail in any regard.
MS MacDONALD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question, through you, is to Ms Gallagher, the Deputy Chief Minister in her capacity as Minister for Health. Minister, could you update the Assembly on the performance and achievements of the ACT health system this year?
MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I welcome the opportunity to inform the Assembly of the numerous—many and varied—achievements of the ACT health system. In fact, when researching the answer to this question, I actually had to cut this down from 17 pages to a more reasonable amount because we are only allowed 10 minutes to answer questions. Well, it is 10 minutes with the supplementary. I can