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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (22 May) . . Page.. 1615 ..

MS REILLY: I ask a supplementary question. What I would like to know is what guidelines exist for individual agencies, to assist them in evaluating the possible consequences of a reduction or a change in the provision of services or their funding, so that the overall welfare of individuals and their families is not affected by the implementation of that, and which area of the Government is responsible for scrutinising these decisions, before or after they are made, to assess their impact.

MRS CARNELL: Every area within government obviously makes decisions every day of the week with regard to service delivery. That is done by the area itself, regularly in concert with the Minister but often not. This Assembly passes a budget. After this particular financial year, the sorts of information that we will have at our disposal will be substantially better because, for the first time, we will be able to see the sorts of services that we are purchasing from the various areas of the ACT government service and what is expected from those services for the taxpayers' dollars that people are willing to spend in particular areas. One of the benefits of a purchaser-provider model is that it achieves those sorts of ends. With a move to substantially more fulsome performance indicators and output indicators, we will be able to see right down to the subprogram level exactly what is happening in particular areas. I know that that will be very useful information for the Government and, I am confident, very useful information for this Assembly as well.

Medical Evacuation and Rescue Helicopter

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for Emergency Services, Mr Humphries. It is a very short one. Minister, what is happening with the rescue helicopter service, and when do you think this service will be up and running?

MR HUMPHRIES: The short answer to that question is that I wish I knew. Members will be aware that last year a tender process was initiated by the ACT and New South Wales governments jointly to provide for a medical rescue helicopter to be based in the ACT. The service was designed to be a service operating in substitution for one of the three services presently operating in Sydney. However, an open tender process was established to allow anybody to bid for the provision of that service. That got under way late last year. It was designed to throw up an answer by, I think, late in March and operations were to begin by 1 July this year.

For its part, the ACT Government has fulfilled all of its obligations. It stands ready and committed to provide this service. As members will know, money was provided for in the 1995-96 budget for the service to operate. There is considerable enthusiasm among members of the various areas of government that are going to work in the framework of this service, including the Ambulance Service and doctors and others at Woden Valley Hospital.

In fact, Mr Speaker, I am aware of the name of the organisation which has successfully tendered for the service in the ACT and I would dearly like to be able to announce to the house today who that service operator will be, but I have entered into an agreement with the New South Wales Government not to do so prior to its approval. At this point in time the Government in New South Wales has not given its approval, so I am left in the position of not being able to answer Mr Osborne's question.

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