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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2021) . . Page.. 319 ..


MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how is the government supporting our health system to meet continued growth?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for his supplementary question. The government is providing record investment in our health system, not just in our response to COVID-19 but in ensuring that we are prepared to meet the health needs of our growing population.

We know that the healthcare needs of our population in Canberra’s north are changing. That is why this year’s budget includes $6½ million to enable Calvary Public Hospital Bruce to meet the needs of our growing and ageing population. As our north-side general hospital, Calvary complements and supports Canberra Hospital, the broader ACT health system and the community in the delivery of key hospital and health services. It represents around 40 per cent of emergency department presentations in the territory, 30 per cent of births and 25 per cent of acute admissions.

We are also investing more than $16½ million to undertake critical building upgrades and refurbishments at the Canberra Hospital as part of our ongoing infrastructure investment. The Building 10 electrical upgrade project will support service delivery for critical pathology services and research activities undertaken in Building 10. These infrastructure projects are central to modernising our facilities for the ongoing delivery of excellent care, and will allow ACT Pathology to continue delivering their critical 24/7 service to support clinical operations at the Canberra Hospital, as well as supporting the ACT government’s COVID-19 response. We cannot thank them enough for this essential work.

ACT Corrective Services—ministerial responsibility

MRS KIKKERT: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Corrections. Minister, on 2 December, when asked about any messes at the AMC left behind by Mr Rattenbury, you said, “I think Mr Rattenbury did a fantastic job as corrections minister and I hope to follow that up.” Mr Rattenbury’s legacy includes overcrowding, inappropriate accommodation of women, rampant drug abuse, riots, staff shortages, out-of-date policies, distressed and overworked staff, and deaths at the AMC. With this in mind, does the minister still stand by his earlier statement that Mr Rattenbury did a fantastic job?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mrs Kikkert for her question. I refute a number of the allegations that she has made in her question today. Numbers reduced in the AMC in the time that Mr Rattenbury was minister. He introduced quite a number of programs and policies to assist the detainees within the AMC. I think he has a record to be proud of, and I hope to follow that through.

MRS KIKKERT: Should Canberrans, staff and inmates be concerned that you regard Mr Rattenbury’s work in this space as “fantastic” and something “to follow up”?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I said, I am going to continue the work that Mr Rattenbury started. We have announced most recently a number of reviews and inquiries, and support for AMC staff as well.


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