Page 745 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2023

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will continue, to make the critical services building an all-electric facility, representing the first 100 per cent electric hospital in Australia, particularly for a building of its size and complexity. Work has already commenced to prepare for the completion and commissioning of the new building, to welcome patients in 2024.

The government’s work to modernise our health infrastructure is not just limited to this project. Last week we opened the new early pregnancy unit, alongside the new antenatal and gynaecology ward at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. The early pregnancy unit was informed by deep consumer engagement. Many of you would have seen the powerful story of Karen Schlage and her children, Charlie and Sophia, who, sadly, did not survive but who really drove this important service. This project is part of the final stages of the Centenary hospital expansion.

In addition, designs were recently unveiled for the new cancer research centre, which will sit alongside a wellbeing hub to deliver a truly comprehensive cancer centre. We are expanding and upgrading infrastructure to support critical services such as pharmacy, pathology and medical imaging. Across the ACT we are also investing in expanding the community-based imaging services at Weston Creek, and in the north planning is well underway to deliver a new north side hospital.

We are delivering on Labor’s election commitments, with significant investment in health infrastructure across the ACT, and this is all part of the government’s broader work to build for the future of Canberra.

Dhulwa Mental Health Unit—safety

MR COCKS: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. Minister, you have tabled documents regarding the independent board to oversee implementation of the Dhulwa report, as you have referred to already today. As I previously noted, that report found “poor standards of care delivery, dysfunction among staff, unsupportive leadership, poorly managed change, fractured workforce relationships, workforce cliques and poor communication”—strangely and eerily similar to some of the findings of the inquiry into your office.

Minister, how much money has the government had to spend on consultants, independent inquiries and independent boards for your portfolios and your office since you became minister?

MS DAVIDSON: That is a question that I would need to take on notice. The independent inquiry into the legislation, workplace governance and clinical frameworks at the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit was under the Chief Minister’s area. But I can take the question on notice to come back with the amount that was spent on that inquiry.

MR COCKS: Minister, why have people in the ACT had to pay for consultants, inquiries and boards on matters you should be capable of handling yourself?

MS DAVIDSON: If I recall correctly, in the period from March to May 2022, the Canberra Liberals were very keen to see an inquiry into what was happening at Dhulwa. They were as concerned as everyone is to make sure that we are providing good quality mental health care to patients and a safe workplace for staff.


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