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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3850..

MR WOOD (continuing):

knowledge from what many in the community tell me- that its care is outstanding, that it is a wonderfully sympathetic hospital and it is particularly careful, I understand-"understand"is the word I use-in matters of palliative care. It is always a difficult time, because families are upset.

I am not sure this is really a matter for question time, but since Mrs Cross asks, I will ask the hospital if it would care to provide a response, perhaps directly to you or perhaps you would rather have it in the documents. I will see that there is a response. I will ask the hospital about its response.

MRS CROSS: In my supplementary question I seek clarification from the minister. Minister, you said in your answer: if the hospital cares to respond. Are you saying that you cannot insist that the hospital gives you an answer to this concern and that it is really optional? I ask so I can understand and advise the family.

MR WOOD: Mrs Cross, I have absolutely no doubt that the hospital cares deeply. I have no doubt about that. I state that emphatically. If you go into its mission statement-I cannot tell you its mission statement off the top of my head, but I know it has been sent to me-I bet there is caring or heavy implications of that in its mission statement. I am not prepared in this forum to make any suggestion that there is no caring at that hospital. I do not believe that this government needs to tell it to care, because I have no doubt that it cares very deeply.

Mrs Cross: So, you are getting back to me on this issue?


Totalcare Industries

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training, Ms Gallagher. Today's Australian contained an article concerning serious problems with a $2.25 million dollar contract with Totalcare-that is, the project management of a DEYFS 2003-04 minor works program, contract No DEYFS 3257. The contract was entered into between your department and Totalcare Industries on 15 September 2003. Your department approved 93.7 per cent of the contract expenditure within the first nine months of its life.

The opposition has asked you several questions about this contract this month. Can you now please advise the Assembly on the following points? Did the contract run to budget? Are you satisfied, as the minister responsible, that the initial negotiations and the signing of the contract complied with the ACT's procurement guidelines? Why did the contract conclude on 30 June 2004 and not on the original date of 30 June 2005? Finally, are you satisfied that the contract as of 30 June 2004 was fully executed to your satisfaction?

MS GALLAGHER: I was driving my daughter to school this morning when the dulcet, droning tones of Mrs Burke came on the radio as usual, alleging a whole range of things against me-alleging incompetence and making some quite serious statements. At worst, Mrs Burke is a liar and at best she is badly advised.

Mrs Dunne: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

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