Page 1187 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 4 May 2022

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and land use controls. The recommendations from this report will be coordinated and considered as part of the ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project. Outcomes of the process will be provided as part of the community and industry consultation later this year.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, aside from these reports, what other information is the government using to inform the district strategies and the new Territory Plan?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary question. The government will be looking at existing ACT government policies and strategies to inform the direction of this work. These include the climate change strategy, the transport strategy, the housing strategy, the infrastructure plan and the planning strategy. These strategies include planning-related actions that require an integrated approach. For example, the transport strategy envisages a compact, walkable and livable city. This relies on the planning system to deliver.

The Planning System Review and Reform Project is an opportunity to make these changes and will set up Canberra for the future. There is a lot of good, old-fashioned town planning, to quote Fiona Carrick from the Woden Valley Community Council, going into our district strategies and Territory Plan work.

Once the government has brought together all of this information and assessed it, we will be working with the EPF, in the first instance, to see that it meets community and industry needs. That will be followed by broader community consultation, starting later this year.

Hospitals—elective surgery

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the Minister for Health. Recently, we heard from the mother of a patient whose 17-year-old son was booked for elective surgery at the Canberra Hospital. After a day of fasting and waiting, the surgery was called off and they were told to return the next day. The following day, she stood in a waiting room all day to draw attention to her son’s need for surgery. Three times she asked for paperwork, with staff saying they were too busy and would send it. This mother shared her story on social media and people responded by saying, “Yep, that’s normal.” Minister, how often are elective surgeries cancelled on the day of the surgery in Canberra hospitals?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Kikkert for the question. I do get regular representations from people who have had the experience of waiting for their elective surgery, having attended the emergency department, been sent home and told to come back for their surgery. Unfortunately, either for elective surgery or emergency surgery, they are not able to be fitted in that day.

As I have said in the media on many occasions over the last few weeks, both our hospitals, like many other hospitals around the country, are extraordinarily busy at the moment. Sometimes it is the case that urgent emergency surgery does come in, and unfortunately it has to take priority over the people who have returned for their

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