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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 30 June 2011) . . Page.. 2995 ..


Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! The question has been asked. Let us hear the minister’s answer.

MS GALLAGHER: A number of sites, and I would imagine that if we had not gone out and consulted on an appropriate site for that the Liberal Party would be squealing about that as well. We have done that work. That work came back—that Quamby was the preferred site, for a number of reasons: its proximity to the Alexander Maconochie Centre, its proximity to the Canberra Hospital site and the fact that it is a designated purpose for that land. We then went through a process with the local community, who had some concerns around that. We have taken the decision that that is the appropriate site for it. We have now gone through the model of care negotiations— (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Coe?

MR COE: Minister, the ACT Labor 2008 mental health election policy states a commitment to mental health services. Your ministerial statement of priorities does not list mental health as a priority. Are you no longer committed to delivering mental health services?

MS GALLAGHER: I find it a bit rich to get this question from the Liberal Party. What was it—the lowest per capita mental health spending in the country when we came to government? The question was around commitment to mental health and what we have done is significantly increased the budget.

We have almost finished the construction of a brand new adult acute mental health in-patient unit. We have started new services in the community sector. We have worked with the Greens around the allocation of budget funding to provide more resources into community recovery and community-based programs. We are working with the commonwealth under the COAG mental health reforms that are underway.

We are extremely committed to the provision of adequate mental health services for our community but it also requires us to take those decisions, particularly decisions around forensic mental health, carefully. I think, again, the Liberal Party, if we do not go through rigorous analysis of why the costings for delivering that service have increased by 100 per cent, if we do not go through some analysis of that, we would be negligent in our responsibilities—

Mr Seselja: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

Ms Gallagher: I have finished answering the question.

Mr Seselja: So you are happy not to answer then?

Ms Gallagher: I have answered it.


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