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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . .

Page.. 3116..

Again, having said that, that is not peculiar to Canberra Hospital. It happens across every hospital in Canberra. I have received complaints of that nature from every hospital during my time as health minister.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why do you continue to insist on spending more on light rail infrastructure than you are spending on the health system infrastructure?

MS GALLAGHER: As members would know, that is not true. The ACT government is required to fulfil a number of obligations to the ACT community. The most important of those is health, and it receives $1.3 billion of recurrent expenditure. It has also in the last six years received $878 million worth of capital expenditure. But the government also has to provide education services; it also needs to provide public transport services. It is not as though you can choose between one and the other. We have prioritised health. In terms of the infrastructure available in the ACT health system now, instead of 670 beds available when Labor came to power, we now have 1,048 beds available, a 56 per cent increase in bed availability, which has far outstripped population growth.

We also have three new community health centres. We have a capital region cancer centre, we have a new women's and children's centre and we have new intensive care facilities at Calvary hospital. The car park for Calvary hospital has started in the last few days. We have new emergency department facilities at Calvary hospital, we have new emergency department facilities at Canberra Hospital, we have the adult mental health unit, we have new operating theatres, and we have extra and brand new ward facilities as well.

That is the priority that we have placed on health and it is the priority that we will continue to place on health.


MR DOSZPOT: My question is for the minister for education. Minister, have there been any incidents involving knives and other weapons in ACT public schools in the last three months?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question. I am aware of an incident that happened in a north side school—it was outside the school grounds and it was after school hours—where some young people appeared to be menacing some students waiting for the bus. They were moved on by the school staff. The school community have been informed and it was referred to the police.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, were these incidents reported to the police? If so, what action has been taken, and if not why not?

MS BURCH: I refer to the answer that I gave, that they were indeed referred to the police.

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