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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (3 March) . . Page.. 644..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

At a broader level, the ACT government agencies and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, which provides the funding for residential care facilities, are meeting with the local aged care industry to discuss ways in which the system of delivery can be improved. I have previously indicated to members that I gave my agreement to the previous Minister for Ageing, Mr Andrews, at a Commonwealth level to see better coordination between Commonwealth and territory agencies when it came to Commonwealth announcements about the release of beds and the planning issues associated with the development of those beds.

The Land Development Agency, at my request, has initiated a review of the way it sells land for older persons accommodation purposes and in order to further streamline its processes. Discussions are currently being held with other government agencies to address those matters. There is a range of complex issues in this debate and it is easy for Mrs Dunne to say, "Not a brick has been laid. Nothing has happened. It is all bureaucracy. It is all being held up by the process."The process is not a bureaucratic process. It is a process that has been agreed by this place. The Land Act, the territory plan and variations to the territory plan are approved by this place. The requirements have been put by the Assembly as to how these sorts of developments are considered and approved. I am looking at ways of improving that process. I have asked the LDA to improve its processes around direct grants of land. I have asked ACTPLA to commence a review of streamlining development application processes and a review of the Land Act. I asked for that in the middle of last year, and that work is happening. So the government understands the complexity of the issue, and it is working to address it.

What we had was a glib assertion from an opposition party which, when it was in government, never gave its agreement to sell the land to the Little Company of Mary at Bruce. It never gave its agreement; the issue never went to cabinet. The previous government never said, "Yes, we'll give it to you as a government; that is what we'll do."That might come as a shock to Mrs Dunne, but those are the facts. It is hypocrisy on the part of those opposite.

The government is working hard to address these issues. It has done many other things to address bed block in our hospitals. For example, the introduction of 50 transitional care beds, which should be operational later this year, will further assist ageing Canberrans in our community. The government will be supporting the motion today, and I am happy to provide the information requested in the motion by close of business tomorrow.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.39 to 2.30 pm.

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: This morning I said I would review Hansard in relation to a couple of claims made in this place during the debate in private members' business. Mr Corbell drew attention to something Mr Smyth had said. He attempted to have him withdraw it. I have reviewed the Hansard and-Mr Smyth I can quote you-it states:


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