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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1726 ..

Mr Moore: It was a five-year lease and there was a six-month gap between the two agreements.

MR BERRY: That may well have been the case. As I recall it, the National Capital Planning Authority - as it was called then - in a patronising way, I think, tried to impose some sort of tenancy agreement on top of its agreement for construction work to occur at the hospice. They might have mentioned five years. I know what I said at the time. I said, "Well, once we are in there, try to get us out". There is no lease, as far as I am aware. It is just some arrangement which - - -

Mr Rugendyke: It might be a block.

MR BERRY: What was that? I did not hear that.

Mr Moore: It might be a block.

MR BERRY: Yes, no lease. No, we know there is a block down there because there is a hospice built on it. If somebody tried to bring a lease to your office and got it confused with a block, I am sure you would know because they would find a bit of difficulty getting it in through the front door. I think the point is well made that the hospice was a forgotten casualty in the land swap deal. As far as I am concerned, it is a hospice that is valued and is worth fighting for. I trust that people have the fortitude to stand their ground if the Commonwealth tries any funny business.

MS TUCKER (11.03): I want to comment on the purchaser-provider issue as well. Mr Moore said that there was a possibility people could be brought in from outside the ACT and that it would happen only if that was going to be a better outcome for the people in the ACT consuming the services. The statement implied that we actually know what we are doing with the contracting out and tendering process. I believe that is not the case. That is why I have referred the whole issue of service purchasing to Ted Quinlan's committee - to see how the recommendations of the Government's report on service purchasing are being progressed.

For a start, the whole issue of pricing has not been progressed to a level that is satisfactory to the community sector, the providers. Pricing is such a fundamental issue that, until it has been resolved to the satisfaction of all partners, or by the partners - however many partners there are - it is quite dangerous to be proceeding with this whole process.

The contestability continuum is another issue. It should have been given a lot more attention in the report. I do not think a lot of community organisations are satisfied that it has been given enough attention and debate. So this is not just about whether or not an organisation's services should be contestable; and that debate has not happened. The issue of pricing is right back at square one. If we are starting to tender out before we have worked this out, no one community sector is concerned.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

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