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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2723..


I think that to a large extent the public health system, complemented by the private health system, does support a range of choices for women, but if there was an area you would continue to grow it would be the community midwives program. That certainly would be popular with women.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, how much over budget is the women's and children's hospital? How late is it? And when it will be fully operational?

MS GALLAGHER: The budget for the women's and children's is $121 million. That was based on some changes that we made. Specifically, the most expensive component of that was to move from 50 per cent of the rooms being single rooms to 80 per cent of them being single rooms. So now parents can actually stay the night with their children in a room on their own—or 80 per cent of them can; the rest are more in high dependency areas. It was putting in the infrastructure associated with that. Each of those rooms will have a bed for a parent. They will all have their own ensuite. This will be infrastructure that this city has never seen. It is for women and children. I think we should be incredibly proud of that. That has been the major impact on that. That was a conscious decision we made after I visited a hospital in Norway, where 80 per cent of their rooms were single-patient rooms.

In relation to when it will be opened, it is about a year overdue. It was due to be opened in May. The wet weather contributed, as did some quarantine seizure of some windows—or quarantine examined some window treatments. The handover date, as I was advised recently, is 20 July. It will take about a month to commission and we are expecting to have it open in late August.

Children and young people—care and protection

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, on 18 October last year you said in the Assembly that your director-general intended to go to a public tender for the provision of supervised transport services in the care and protection system. That was partly to address problems with late payments to service providers and partly to put the on-demand supervised transport services on a more formal footing. Minister, has the tender been called? If yes, when was it called? If not, why not and when will it be called?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her question. We have not gone to tender on that. There has been an ongoing conversation with a number of the service providers to see what the model should be. We have worked through a process of standardising—what are the expectations, what are we actually after, what are the standards, what are the costs involved in various transport services? So this has not gone out, but we have spoken with the providers, and we continue that work.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.


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