Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 4062..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
it says that the party endorsed the provision of transport corridors. The provision of transport corridors is exactly what Mr Corbell delivered, and that is exactly what we will deliver over time. Of course, the shadow minister for a portfolio that does not exist actually says, "Oh well, this is a really bad idea."The problem is that, with respect to the bit to which I have referred, unless they have taken it off since I mentioned it, we have seen in black, white and red the most embarrassing thing for Mr Seselja. It is a matter of, "Mate, whoops the chair's empty, the lights are on, there's nobody home, jump in there now."
MR SPEAKER: Order! Sit down.
MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, the recently published Auditor-General's report No 7 of 2007 titled The aged care assessment program and the home and community care program contains numerous comments about your government's inability to convert allocated aged care places into beds for clients. It says:
The ACT is slow at converting the allocation of residential places by the Commonwealth to beds for clients.
Chief Minister, does the government accept the Auditor-General's criticism, and why in six years, given the territory's ageing population, have you not addressed the need to efficiently convert allocated aged care places into actual beds and care?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Mulcahy for the question. In any discussion around aged care beds and the delivery of aged care beds in the ACT you need to look at the base from which we started when we came to government. After six years of Liberal government we find that 14 beds were delivered—two beds a year over six years. That is what we inherited. When we came to government we discovered that in the previous 61/2 years of Liberal government a total of 14 aged care beds had been delivered for the people of the ACT, which compares of course to the 114 beds that they cut out of our public hospitals.
It is the same with so many things where one is picking up a service that has been so totally neglected: you start from something of a disadvantage. In that time, however, we have worked hard and assiduously with the commonwealth and with the private providers and the not-for-profit sector to deliver aged care beds and aged care facilities, and we have made tremendous progress—enormous progress.
At the time of the audit that the shadow Treasurer refers to there were in the order of 200 beds that the government, quite frankly, does have a level of disappointment about in relation to their non-completion. That related to significant delays, and this is at the heart of it. If one looked at the circumstances of the situation at the time of the Auditor-General's inquiry and the situation now, and if one looks and explores the beds under construction, planned for construction or for which government approval was being sought, one would see the sequence of beds and their anticipated delivery date, and the response of the Auditor-General might have been very different.