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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 2 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 629..

ACT community—government commitments

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): Madam Speaker has received letters from Ms Berry, Dr Bourke, Mr Coe, Mr Gentleman, Mrs Jones, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly for discussion. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Porter be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of delivering on the government's commitments to the ACT community over the next four years.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (3:49): I am pleased to have an opportunity to speak to members about today's matter of public importance—the importance of delivering on the government's commitments to the ACT community over the next four years. I am proud to be part of a government that has a proven track record of delivering on our commitments, and we will continue to do so.

In my electorate of Ginninderra, the government has made a number of major investments in recent years, such as the new Belconnen police station and the new Kingsford Smith School. This year we will see a new enhanced community health centre open in Belconnen, which will provide additional health services for local residents. These projects represent just a few of the long list of commitments this government has delivered on for the benefit of our community. This Labor government will deliver on its latest election commitments with the same enthusiasm and drive and energy.

The government has made a number of substantial election commitments that we will implement this term, and I would like to share some of the highlights, particularly for my electorate and the regions. Some of the commitments will benefit all Canberrans, while others have a focus on areas where a particular need has been identified. For example, women living on the north side of Canberra will have the option of delivering their babies at a new birth centre to be fitted out at the Calvary hospital. It will have the same look and feel as the Canberra Hospital birth centre in Woden, enabling women to birth in a more home-like environment. I think anyone who has been to visit the centre over in Woden will be extremely impressed. As a former midwife and, of course, as a mother who has given birth a number of times, I certainly am.

The government has also identified the need for additional growth in public hospital services on the north side of Canberra and, to this end, has committed to fund an additional 54 general inpatient beds, two critical care beds, 12 hospital-in-the-home beds, five psychogeriatric beds and a new rapid assessment and planning unit at Calvary hospital. This will see the employment of more than a hundred doctors, nurses and support staff to care for people using these additional beds for the next four years. This is a major commitment which will improve health services, particularly for people living in north Canberra, and represents an investment of more than $60 million.

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