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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2564..


MR HANSON (continuing):

Obviously an immense amount of pressure has been put on the public service through the swine flu epidemic. That has affected all departments, but obviously in particular the health department. I also express my full support for and admiration of all of the staff, both the administrative staff, who are often forgotten in this mix, and the front-line staff from the CEO down. In particular, I would like to thank Dr Charles Guest and his staff. I really believe that the reassurance and information that he has given the community through his excellent presentations in the media and also the public information campaign that has gone on has been an important part of informing and reassuring the community.

Obviously we do need to remain vigilant as we move forward, and we obviously will keep an eye on what is going on from the opposition's point of view. I confirm and reiterate our confidence in the health system as we move forward. I have, from time to time, identified points where there is room for improvement in our health system, but with regard to the management of this pandemic so that the community can move forward with confidence, the health system has done us proud. I certainly urge the community at large to take that message on board and that, as directions and advice are given by the ACT health system through Dr Charles Guest and the CEO and others, they do adhere to that advice.

Sitting suspended from 11.38 am to 2 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage): Members will know that two of my colleagues, the Attorney-General and the Minister for Disability and Housing, are unavailable today, unable to be present for question time. If there are questions for my colleagues, I will seek to assist. I ask for the forbearance of members in relation to detail, but I will do my best and if I am unable to meet members' needs I will respond in full.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Stanhope ) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted to Mr Hargreaves for this sitting to attend to ministerial business interstate.

Questions without notice

Budget—borrowing program

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, your latest estimates show that the ACT government will borrow up to $550 million over the next few years to fund infrastructure projects. Treasurer, largely due to the borrowing program that is being undertaken by governments around the world, including the Australian government, the cost of borrowing funds has increased in recent months. Treasurer,


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