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Canberra Times . . Page.. 1561 ..

Health Assets

MR CONNOLLY: My question is to Mrs Carnell as Health Minister. Minister, you already have announced the sale of Jindalee Nursing Home, and yesterday you announced the sale of the Kippax and Melba health centres, which is an interesting finesse on your election promise that no health centres will close - you will just flog them off instead. I assume that these sales are the basis of your projection of $7m in asset sales for Health for the financial year 1995-96. Can you now advise the Assembly what will be the asset sales that will lead to revenues of $8m in 1996-97 and $4m in 1997-98? In other words, can you tell the Assembly what further Health assets will be flogged off in your attempt to maintain your budget predictions?

MRS CARNELL: If Mr Connolly would like to wait until the end of question time, I have those figures upstairs. There are a number of other sales, some of them to do with houses, in that Health offer, as you know. I think there were plans for sales in those areas in the past. We have the sale of Jindalee Nursing Home, which everyone knows about. With regard to the two health centres, Kippax will be sold. Currently there are negotiations under way at Melba Health Centre with the doctors, with the current CMPs, who may be interested in leasing the establishment. We are in the process of talking to them about it. Hopefully, we will be able to come up with some sort of an arrangement with those doctors, simply to provide some continuity of service in those areas. I can promise Mr Connolly that there are no other health centres planned to be sold. We do not have any other nursing homes, as you have pointed out often; so we will not be selling any other nursing homes. So there you are. I am very happy to table the full list.

Mr Connolly: You will give me a list of the additional $12m?

MRS CARNELL: Absolutely; no trouble at all.

Budget - Opposition Claims

MR HIRD: My question is directed to the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Tony De Domenico. I refer the Minister to claims made by Mr Berry to the media during the last month that the Government was planning a horror budget for the Territory. Given that Mr Berry said to a local newspaper last week, “Prove us wrong”, can the Minister, in fact, do just that?

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Mr Hird for his question. Mr Speaker, Mr Berry has been, as we know, Acting Opposition Leader for some time now. I imagine that it will not be long before he drops the title “Acting”. In the six weeks prior to the budget, Mr Speaker, Ms Follett was listed as missing in action, so the baton was passed on to Mr Berry and he did not let his Labor colleague down. In the past few weeks Mr Berry has given the media his insights into the budget that was handed down yesterday. He told the Canberra Times that the Labor Party and the trade union movement were unhappy with the pre-budget process because it was secret.

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