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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 3040..


MR SPEAKER: Order! Playing to the audience is not appropriate.

MR HARGREAVES: I know, Mr Speaker, and they are having a big laugh at their expense, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, direct your comments to the supplementary question asked by Mr Gentleman.

MR HARGREAVES: All right, Mr Speaker. Mr Gentleman did ask, in fact, what we were doing into the future about energy saving in public housing. As I have indicated, there are significant funds in the budget—in the infrastructure fund and in public housing itself—for this issue. What are we seeing by way of comparison, which is what the public wants to know and what this Assembly wants to know. We are getting nothing out of those folks opposite. We do not know what they are going to do about energy efficiency in public housing. Perhaps, in fact, the way in which they can reduce energy use in public housing is to take what Mr Smyth did when he was housing minister—that is, reduce the number of properties by 1,000! That would switch off 1,000 light bulbs, would it not? That was a great energy efficiency method. Mr Speaker, I do not want to hit the children any more.

Gas-fired power station

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, will you rule out using your call-in powers in relation to the Tuggeranong power station?

MR BARR: Insofar as I will be Minister for Planning up until the ACT election, I can certainly rule out using call-in powers between now and then.

Hospitals—cancer treatments

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, in light of the news of Calvary John James cancer clinic closing, could you update the Assembly on options for patients who are currently being treated there?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. The closure of the oncology unit at Calvary John James Hospital is unfortunate and disappointing, particularly for those patients who are being treated there, but it is a decision that has been made by a private company and as such the government cannot influence that decision. However, the Labor government is committed to improving health services for our community, and the long-term decisions we have made this year mean that treatment for patients at the clinic should not be interrupted. I refer specifically to the opening of the linear accelerator and our capacity to treat patients, in light of increasing demand, with that extra capacity.

Approximately 40 patients are currently receiving chemotherapy at Calvary John James Hospital and therefore will be affected by this closure. Discussions have been taking place between the doctors and the administration at the National Capital Private Hospital. National Capital Private has indicated that it is prepared to expand its oncology service in order to take on these extra patients. The majority of the


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