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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 3655..


MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, have patients who have recently presented at the Canberra Hospital emergency department been told that they could not be treated and to seek treatment elsewhere?

MS GALLAGHER: No, they have not. I understand that on Saturday, following the bridge collapse, a number of the workers were taken to Canberra Hospital for presentation. They arrived at Canberra Hospital at about four o'clock in the afternoon. There were a number of category 5 patients who nurses spoke to. They said that there were alternative options for them, that there would be a long wait because of the arrival of these construction workers. They said that for category 5 patients there would be a significant wait and that there were other options, such as CALMS, and the walk-in clinic, should they wish to attend, otherwise of course they were very happy for them to stay. They were just advised that there was a wait. Nobody was turned away. On that day the emergency department dealt with 173 presentations, which, on top of the collapse, was a very busy day anyway. Certainly nobody would be turned away from the hospital.

Housing—Older Persons

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Ageing. Can the minister inform the Assembly about the progress in the development of the stimulus funded older persons' accommodation?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her question, and I note her longstanding interest in public housing. Consistent with the ACT Affordable Housing Action Plan Phase 2, Housing ACT is expanding its property redevelopment program by providing more appropriate housing for older tenants. Housing ACT is increasing the supply and diversity of affordable housing for older Canberrans and is exploring partnership opportunities with community care providers for the flexible provision of support and care services to its ageing tenant population.

Housing ACT is building a total of 297 mainly two-bedroom homes, with a small number of three-bedroom homes, on community facilities land for older public housing tenants. The eight community facility sites are Conder, Macquarie, Curtin, Kambah, Bonython, Chapman, Florey and Rivett. Information sessions were held on the use of the community facility land for supportive housing. The sessions were well attended and positive, and useful feedback was provided. That feedback is being taken into account in the layout and design of the dwellings at these sites. Construction has commenced at all eight sites, with a total construction value of $60 million. This construction has helped the ACT economy and kept people in jobs. The flow-on effects from people staying in work has helped the entire ACT community.

The first site in Macquarie, with some 13 homes, is completed and is currently being allocated. Applications for the second site in Curtin are currently being assessed. The homes will progressively be handed over from October this year through to the middle of next year. I was thinking of inviting Mr Smyth to come to the opening of one these


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