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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (28 October) . .

Page.. 3660..


I was asked last week whether any of the $114,000 was recoverable. In my reply, I indicated that the 19 light poles and fittings can be recovered and reused in another suitable location. This remains the case. However, those poles and fittings were not part of the $114,000 figure. Of the $114,000, the electrical cable and conduits will be recoverable when the street lights are relocated. The estimated value of this material is $10,000. A further $86,481.89 will be recoverable from the entire project cost for the reuse of the light poles and light fittings.

A program was introduced over 10 years ago by Roads ACT to replace armoured electrical cables which had reached the end of their useful life in the inner north and south of Canberra. These old armoured electrical cables from this particular location in the city need to be replaced. This forms the basis of the current project. The armoured cable replacement program commenced in 2001-02 and has continued to be funded annually through the TAMS capital upgrade program.

Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital—bed occupancy rates

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health, concerning ACT hospital bed occupancy rates. Minister, in an article headed "Canberra Hospital bursting at the seams", an ACT Health spokesperson was quoted in the Canberra Times today as saying that "Canberra public hospitals were at 83 per cent occupancy in October". By contrast, the Canberra Times quotes emergency department specialist Dr Drew Richardson saying the hospital was "very full", with occupancy rates as high as 120 per cent. Minister, from 1 October to 27 October, and just for TCH, what was the average bed occupancy rate?

MS GALLAGHER: I am seeking clarification on that exact issue today. I understand the doctor in question, Professor Richardson, is disputing that he said that figure. I understand a request has been made for the audio from the Canberra Times. I have not been briefed on whether that has been provided. But the advice from Professor Richardson is that that is not a figure he gave, nor is it a figure he understood across the hospital, as his work is entirely within the emergency department. Indeed, as I understand it, from the transcript, the audio that ACT Health does, he made a point of saying that in the interview.

It is not a figure I have ever seen before—120 per cent. I have seen it at 100 per cent, but I have never seen any document which would indicate a figure that high, and I am seeking clarification on it. So in the interests of making sure that what I say is accurate in the record, I will come back to the Assembly with that.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, regardless of the confusion, can you clarify also the bed occupancy for Calvary during the same period?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, I can. My own view is that that is the figure that is relevant, because that is all the public beds that are available for the system in Canberra. We


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