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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 9 Hansard (12 August) . .

Page.. 2809..


Just recently we have seen again, since the budget was delivered, that we have the longest waiting times for emergency departments in the country. We have seen the issue, as I said, about urology and the refusal to release the urology report, and we have also seen the concerns about the tower block. I am very disturbed about the tower block because, as much as there are problems in the health system right now, the important thing is: what is the way forward? What is the plan to build extra capacity? What is the plan for this government to dig itself out of this hole? It had been agreed in this place some years ago that there would be a 200-bed hospital at the University of Canberra, and it has cut that.

The other project that had broad support was the rebuilding of the tower block at the Canberra Hospital. That is a project that had $41 million allocated, that was meant to be ongoing. Again what we see is that years later that money has been withdrawn and nothing is happening. But what we do see is turmoil in that project. Mr Smyth has spoken to people concerned about the whole procurement process and what happened there, and whether it was just that the legs were chopped from under them. But as was reported, a former project manager of health infrastructure for the ACT government has slammed the government's handling of the redevelopment as unconscionable after the firm was forced to submit and resubmit multiple tenders. It is chaos.

This is a project that the previous minister was talking about. She called it the capital asset development plan. Remember? In the lead-up to the election there was great fanfare about building the tower block. "We are going to build this big tower block, and it is going to be $800 million, and this is going to fix the health system." Here we are in 2015, and the only news we get about what is going on with the tower block is from tenderers, who are so distraught, so vexed with the system that they have to go to the media, who say this is just dysfunctional, this is just not working.

It is a shame that we are again here highlighting the problems in our health system. Things are not getting better. What I say to this minister is, "Reinstate the 60 beds cut from the University of Canberra and stop trying to cover it up. Stop trying to bamboozle people. No-one believes you. Everybody in the media and your own staff were rolling their eyes about the convoluted excuses you have given. Present to us a coherent plan for what you are going to do at the Canberra Hospital." It is not good enough for us to find out what is going on simply from reports from tenderers who are saying that what is going on there is unconscionable.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Adjournment

Motion by Ms Burch proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

St Anthony's Playground Dreaming

MR WALL (Brindabella) (9.29): I rise this evening to discuss the wonderful work being done within the community of the St Anthony's parish primary school in


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