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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3129 ..

also has in mind, where people are using it informally as a dog park. That also might lend itself to having a fenced area that could be used, and it already has ample parking facilities. We will be looking at a range of sites and the opportunities they provide.

MR BRADDOCK: Minister, how can the community have their say on the planning and development of those co-located facilities?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Braddock for his supplementary question. Over the coming months we will be undertaking further consultation with the community on the dog park once we have undertaken a level of due diligence on the sites that TCCS has found as well as those suggested by the community. We look forward to engaging the community to support this very exciting project.


MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you please update the Assembly on the record investment that the ACT government is making in our public hospital system?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for his question and his ongoing interest in our health system. In the 2021-22 budget the ACT government has committed to continuing to invest across the health portfolio, with an increase of $629 million in recurrent funding for frontline services delivered by Canberra Health Services and the Calvary Public Hospital Bruce over the next four years. This is in addition to an increase of $60 million for the Health Directorate, which contracts non-government sector services and delivers policy and information technology services. The four-year budget reflects an increased investment of $1.3 billion across the health portfolio compared to the previous four years. In 2021-22, spending on health is more than 30 per cent of the total ACT budget.

This step change in funding helps to deliver on our detailed plan that we took to the last election and that was endorsed by the people of Canberra. It will ensure that our health system is able to deliver health care for Canberrans when and where they need it, as well as responding to the ongoing impact of COVID-19. The ACT government committed to employing at least 400 new clinical staff, including nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals, over four years to provide more healthcare services as our city grows. This budget delivers almost 65 per cent of our four-year commitment. The investments detailed in this budget will see the number of ongoing health professional employees increased by approximately 257 full-time equivalents. This includes 17 doctors, 194 nurses and 47 allied health professionals—more doctors, more nurses, more allied health professionals, more healthcare workers for our public health system, to keep Canberrans healthy.

Labor has always fought for and invested in high-quality public health care, and we will continue to build on our investments for the whole ACT community, particularly in our incredibly valuable workforce.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, can you please detail some of the ways that this record investment will benefit the Canberra community?

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