Page 1279 - Week 04 - Thursday, 11 May 2023

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Health Infrastructure Enabling Bill 2023

Ms Stephen-Smith, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and enabling regulation, and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.46): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the ACT government’s Health Infrastructure Enabling Bill 2023. The bill, if passed, will enable the ACT government to acquire the part of the land where Calvary Public Hospital Bruce is situated—block 1 section 1, division of Bruce— to construct a new north side public hospital; transition the operation of the public hospital to the territory, including by terminating the Calvary Network Agreement; allow for the safe and orderly transition of Calvary Public Hospital Bruce employees, assets and services to the territory; and provide for compensation on just terms.

We know that the ACT and the surrounding region are growing and ageing. Demand for public health services is increasing, as is the complexity of the health needs of the Canberra community. As our population ages and grows, we are also seeing an increasing prevalence of chronic conditions, and the ACT needs a public health system that can flexibly respond to the needs of our community now and into the future.

Canberra’s north side has the largest population in the territory and this will continue to increase over the coming decades. By 2060, the population in the north side of Canberra is projected to grow by 285,000. By 2041, the demand for hospital services on the north side is forecast to be more than double the current capacity of Calvary Public Hospital Bruce.

In 2016, the ACT government committed to conducting a scoping study for longer term new and expanded north side hospital facilities. This was supported by funding in the 2017-18 ACT budget, with $3.25 million invested to commence planning for enhanced north side hospital facilities. This led to an additional investment in the 2018-19 budget of $1 million for the continuation of feasibility and planning works for a north side hospital.

To address the need for more capacity, the ACT government undertook a condition assessment of the Calvary Public Hospital Bruce infrastructure in 2020, along with an options analysis for the building of a new north side hospital. This condition assessment found that many of the buildings at Calvary Public Hospital were ageing and nearing the end of their useful life.

The options analysis recommended that a new north side hospital be built, rather than a remediation and expansion of the existing Calvary Public Hospital Bruce. Preliminary

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