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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 3042..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

Importantly, a centre of this kind would allow the bringing together of different facets of cancer management onto the one site, enabling holistic and integrated treatment plans, and integrating research and clinical practice so that they impact on each other for mutual benefit and complement the current local research programs. The concept provides for different treatment options such as medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgery.

This collocation of services would be of particular benefit to people from surrounding rural areas. It would enable them to access coordinated services at one visit rather than have to make several journeys for different aspects of their care and treatment. It would also enable us to provide services that we are not currently providing, thereby reducing the amount of travel our own population would have to undertake to go interstate for certain types of treatment.

I have already mentioned the opening of the third linear accelerator with a fourth on the way. The next stage of the development for the cancer centre will produce new radiotherapy treatment techniques—for example, for prostate cancer—and intensity-modulated radiation therapy, which will also become available in the ACT. This is an exciting development that promotes best practice cancer treatment for the region.

COAG has identified regional cancer centres as one of the major reform and service development areas to be further progressed through the work of the COAG working groups. The Chief Minister recently wrote to the Prime Minister pointing out that the ACT government's proposed cancer centre of excellence would service the surrounding rural areas as well as ensure that existing research groups dispersed across several facilities could be collocated on one site, integrating research and clinical practice.

Given the opportunities to improve cancer services for our local region, the Chief Minister has sought the Prime Minister's support in bringing a regional cancer centre to life here in the ACT to enable it to reach its full potential. I look forward to keeping the Assembly informed on this matter as it progresses.

Gungahlin Drive extension

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, I refer to a quote from Alan Evans, the President of the NRMA, in the Canberra Times of 25 July 2008 about your government's announcement on the duplication of the Gungahlin Drive extension. Mr Evans said:

If they'd done it in the first place it would have cost less money. They'll have to go back at substantial additional cost and it was also going to be needed.

Minister, is it not true that your decision to build one lane initially will result in considerable additional cost to taxpayers?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mr Pratt very much and very sincerely for the question. There are a couple of facts you need to know about the GDE.


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