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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (27 October) . . Page.. 2281 ..

Gungahlin Police Station

MR RUGENDYKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Humphries, the Minister for Justice, and it relates to the adequacy of policing services for the people of Belconnen and Gungahlin. Is the Minister aware of the possibility that the AFP is considering a reduction in the provision of policing services for the people of Gungahlin by reducing the hours of operation of Gungahlin police station to day shift only, Monday to Friday?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am aware that that issue is being considered. I have also made it clear to the Federal Police that I consider any move to change the arrangements for the operation of the Gungahlin police station to be arrangements which must be fully discussed with the ACT Government. The Federal Police have made it clear to me that they will not make any decision in respect of those facilities unless and until they discuss it fully with the ACT Government and involve it fully in the decision to deal with those services. Mr Speaker, I am due to meet with the Federal Police in the next week or so to talk about the future of the service of policing to the people of Gungahlin, and foremost in my mind in those discussions will be how to maintain at least the same level of service to the people of Gungahlin that we now provide them.

Hospitals - Privatisation

MR BERRY: Through you, Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health and Community Care. Mr Moore, in the Canberra Times of 24 October, the respected Professor Bob Douglas, Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the ANU, wrote that the "really big issues around hospital care demand public scrutiny and accountability of a kind that simple market mechanisms do not provide". Does the Minister agree with the professor and will he now rule out the future sale of Canberra Hospital?

MR MOORE: Yes; no - to both your questions.

MR BERRY: I ask a supplementary question. Can the Minister now say whether he agrees with Professor Douglas's assertion that the idea we should surrender all of our community-owned facilities is a form of ideological stupidity?

MR SPEAKER: You must not ask for an expression of opinion.

MR MOORE: The article by Professor Douglas, I think, highlighted a number of issues. Mr Speaker, as you would be aware, Professor Douglas is somebody with whom I am very familiar. To take an extreme view on whether to privatise nothing or to privatise everything is just as stupid either way, Mr Berry. That is why I will not rule out a series of options that are open to me. This Government, generally, is not going to play the game of ruling out options. If you, Mr Berry, could begin to think more broadly and ask yourself what are the - - -

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