Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1379 ..
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.
MR COE: Treasurer, what is the projected cost increase for this year, and will staff numbers also increase?
MS GALLAGHER: Staff numbers will increase in line with government policy decisions. I am not sure how else I can expand on that other than as in my first question. In relation to any additional expenditure that has been incurred since the budget was announced, I can confirm that the majority of that is for largely technical reasons. I think $17 million—this is from our budget update—relates to rollovers; $33 million, by far the majority of the increased expenditure, is a re-evaluation of TAMS’s assets; and $11½ million was an actuarial super valuation change. So, in terms of any additional expenditure, they have not been incurred for staffing reasons post the ACT budget of last year.
MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Treasurer, what extra front-line services were provided to the ACT as a result of this expenditure and extra staffing?
MS GALLAGHER: I draw the member’s attention to the budget papers where initiatives are clearly outlined.
Mr Smyth: You don’t know?
MS GALLAGHER: I do know and I can go through them one by one. For example, in health—and I can go through these—there is an increased critical care capacity, which is an additional funded intensive care bed, as opposed to the plans those opposite took to the election, which was a fake intensive care bed—an intensive care bed you have when you do not have an intensive care bed; that is right, the intensive care bed that you use for surge in capacity. That is right. That was a good one in the election. There is an increase in elective surgery, for example. That means more doctors and more nurses and additional beds. There is an increased acute capacity: 20 beds. That usually equates to about 80 nurses to run those beds.
We can run through it but I think the short answer, to save everybody else from boredom, is: go back, look at your budget papers. The initiatives are outlined there very clearly indeed, as are the staffing numbers.
MR HANSON: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the ACT public service profile 2008-09 shows that staffing has grown in the ACT public service by about 6.5 per cent in the last 12 months. The average salary of a staff member is $60,972. Treasurer, how many of these staff were essential and how many were non-essential?