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Following my discussion with Ms Tucker and the Chief Minister this morning I saw a slight change in tone when the Chief Minister spoke in the Assembly. This morning, as Ms Tucker has said, preference would be given to the not-for-profit sector. There was no talk of all other things being equal. In fact, we were quite specific. Chief Minister, I raised with you this morning what happens if the profit sector offers, for example, $1m extra over the non-profit sector. I would like you to clarify that situation for the Assembly, because that would not be a case of all things being equal. A tender under those circumstances would mean that the profit sector would get it. My understanding of our discussion this morning was that preference would be given to the not-for-profit sector. I see that Ms Tucker also acknowledges that. That is her understanding of the meeting.
Mr Speaker, whilst the debate is in many ways emotive, there is a limited number of nursing home positions available in Canberra. They are determined by the Commonwealth. I believe that everybody here seeks to deliver the best possible service for the elderly in Canberra. I find it difficult to believe that Jindalee has been delivering the best possible service when they have not been able to reach Commonwealth standards. That probably has nothing to do with staff. It is not a reflection on staff. It may well be a reflection on the nature of the building and the investment required to change the building to meet those sorts of issues. Mr Speaker, the real concern is to ensure the best possible service delivery. I am not wedded to government doing that service delivery. If we can provide the best possible service in another way, then I am open-minded and will take those other factors into consideration. I look forward to hearing some response from the Chief Minister.
MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (12.20): Mr Speaker, I rise briefly to contribute to this debate. On listening to the toing-and-froing that has gone on, it seems as if one would be led to believe that this is the first time that a nursing home has been sold out of the government sector. That is not true. If people were not being disingenuous they would realise that, in 1989, the Allambee Nursing Home - now the Canberra Nursing Home - was sold to the private sector. I understand that the overall standard and quality of life for the residents has improved, demonstrating that such a move can be a positive thing for residents.
I think Mr Moore hit the nail on the head when he said that the major concern of all of us here in this house should be the residents of these nursing homes. I, for example, could not give a hoot who provides the service. If the service is provided better by one than by the other, then that is the way I would go, because ultimately - - -
Mr Berry: Are your fingers crossed too?
MR DE DOMENICO: No, my fingers are not crossed, Mr Berry. I will tell you why they are not crossed. Unlike you, and unlike some of the rent-a-crowd you have here, we tend to tell the truth. I will tell you why we tend to tell the truth. We read totally from documents that we profess to have in front of us and smirk about. Had you read one more sentence from the Liberal Party policy document put out before the election, up front, you would have read this line on page 12: