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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 5 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1689..


MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Chief Minister, how will these new arrangements actually address cross-border and regional issues so that the ACT does not have to take New South Wales to arbitration to recover funds?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question. Ms Bresnan goes to the heart of one of the issues that the Minister for Health and I did address with the Prime Minister and with the federal minister for health—that is, how do we avoid the disputation in relation to cross-border issues, accepting the implications for us? The Prime Minister and the federal minister for health agreed that there will be special arrangements that apply specifically to the ACT in relation to the cost of services here, taking account of the historic embedded costs. That was an enormous concession for us.

The efficient price mechanism that is part of the new arrangements in relation to the determination of levels of activity will be adjusted according to the nature of the cross-border arrangement and the level of services provided for New South Wales. So there will be a mechanism, agreed by the Prime Minister, specifically in relation to the ACT to allow issues like the embedded, historic costs, the level of cross-border service and the determination of the efficient cost by an independent body to determine the nature of those arrangements.

As a result of this agreement and as a result of the negotiations which we held bilaterally, those issues were dealt with. I do hope that we will never again be forced into the position of having to arbitrate independently with New South Wales in relation to the real cost of cross-border services.

So those are some of the particular benefits achieved by the nature of our relationship with the Prime Minister and the federal minister for health and the nature of the bilateral negotiations which we conducted, negotiations which were so successful that led us to engage as proactively and constructively with the Prime Minister as we did and which, at the end of the day, produced an excellent outcome for Canberra and for the people of the ACT.

ACT Health—alleged bullying

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, have you closely reviewed the processes used to investigate allegations of bullying that arise within your department?

MS GALLAGHER: Could you repeat the question? I want to get it right—what you were talking about.

MR HANSON: The question is, minister, have you closely reviewed the processes used by your department to investigate allegations of bullying that may arise within your department?


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