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The Health Minister says if there are no changes, the home is facing a limited life as a government nursing home.
Mr De Domenico: Who said that?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Connolly said that. What did he mean by that?
Mr Connolly: Because it would be privatised by a Liberal government.
MR HUMPHRIES: We were going to win the election, remember. I quote from the WIN Television News of 31 October. Mr Connolly, referring to the nurses, said:
If they block a process of change, and we lose $2m, the future of Jindalee is bleak indeed.
Mr De Domenico: It must have been the same Mr Connolly.
MR HUMPHRIES: It must have been. In the same broadcast, Mr Connolly warned that any loss of financial assistance from the Federal Government could force a sell-off of the facility. There was no mention of an unforeseen Liberal government doing it. Mr Connolly was saying that Federal funding for that home was essential to maintain it as a government facility. Mr Speaker, the reason he was saying these things in public was that a great deal of movement was going on below the surface. Mr Connolly was gliding along very gracefully on the surface of the water; beneath the surface his feet were going 10 to the dozen. What was going on was quite amazing. Mr Connolly had received a letter from one Carmen Lawrence, dated 10 or 18 June - it is not very clear on this photocopy - about Jindalee Nursing Home. She said:
I note that the ACT Government has agreed to transfer 86 nursing home bed places to the higher funding arrangements, with offsets of 40 beds at Jindalee Nursing Home.
We now know that those 40 beds refer to the Lower Jindalee contingent. Dr Lawrence went on to say:
I trust that the closure of this wing at Jindalee will be undertaken with appropriate consultation with residents and their representatives, staff, and the unions.
Did it, Mr Connolly? Did that consultation go on? He finds something to say to Mr Berry at the convenient moment. He is not listening to the question. Mr Connolly, I think that you did know that there was no consultation going on.
Ms Follett has been part of this debate. She claimed on radio this morning that this is a heinous act by the present Government. She had no knowledge of what was going on with these moves to get rid of those 40 beds; she did not know about it, she says. I heard Mr Connolly say earlier on in this debate that he believed that there was documentation available showing what had been briefed to him and Ms Follett about this matter; but unfortunately it is a very long and complex process, he says, to get hold of it.