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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 409..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I do not believe your questions goes to this, but if the question is "has Treasury now advised that you should cut revenue because you've got your expenditure and revenue equations out of tilt?"the answer is no. In fact, Treasury continues to advise me that our expenditure effort is well above the national average and our revenue effort is well below. In Treasury's mind, where you are expending at above the national average and taxing at below or at the national average, you have a disconnect that has to be seriously addressed.

The continuing advice that I receive from Treasury—I received that latest advice as recently as this week—is that our "expenditure effort"—the terminology used by Treasury—is significantly above the national average; our revenue effort is not. In other words, we still spend well above the national average but we do not tax at above the national average. The ACT is not a high taxing regime.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Mulcahy?

MR MULCAHY: Treasurer, notwithstanding that pronouncement, I ask you specifically: have you requested your department to provide modelling for the repeal or reduction of any ACT government charges?

MR STANHOPE: I have asked the Treasury, in the context of developing this year's budget, to provide me with the full range of advice on expenditure and revenue.

Health—radiopharmaceuticals

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, I have been advised that the closure of the Lucas Heights reactor, which was first made public on 27 July 2007 to health professionals nationally, has the potential to cause delays for Canberra patients seeking treatment for things such as MRIs and chemotherapy. Minister, what arrangements did you put in place regarding the supply of radiopharmaceuticals to Canberra's public hospital patients as a result of the Lucas Heights reactor being shut down?

MS GALLAGHER: I must say that I rely on the skills and expertise of those people running our radiation oncology services to ascertain what supplies they need in order to meet the demand for which they are providing services. This is what we employ doctors to do; this is what we ask our health professionals to do—to make sure they have the supplies and the staff available in order to provide the services they need to provide. That is why health professionals do things like planning and demographic work to see what lies ahead and what they need to order for. With respect to the work we have done around MRI, we have actually bought an extra MRI, and we have it in place, so that we can deliver 50 per cent more—

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: my question was not about MRIs; it was about the availability of radiopharmacology and what the minister and the department have done to ensure supplies.

MR SPEAKER: But you did mention an MRI.


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