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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3066 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

to date the hospital has failed to take up the $3m offer has anything to do with lack of beds or professional nursing staff in addition to the relationship the Minister has just raised between theatre time and bed availability in the intensive care unit?

MR MOORE: I can answer that question now. The answer is yes. We would have to find particular staff for the intensive care unit, but let us put that aside for one minute and assume that we were able to resolve that problem and that we opened a series of new beds and put on extra staff. This is one-off money. That would mean that we would then somehow have to get rid of the staff again. However, there are ways of getting contract staff and giving people extra duties if they wish to have them. There are a series of things like that.

One of the parts of the dispute that was running with the nurses for some time was about these sorts of issues. The hospital is particularly sensitive and trying very hard to make sure that they are working with the Nursing Federation and the nurses so as not to undermine the current position. I would hope, Mr Stanhope, that we can resolve some of those problems and find ways to increase the number of beds or, more importantly, to increase the throughput at any given time. I think that is part of management of the hospital.

Canberra Cosmos

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question to the Chief Minister follows on from my question yesterday on the Cosmos, only I will not mention the club's demise. At a press conference yesterday, the chairman of the Canberra Cosmos, Mr Ian Knop, aside from sacking the odd coach and player or five, hinted at approaching the Government for a little bit more support. It was reported in the Canberra Times that an injection of no less than $600,000 was needed. The Canberra Times also suggested that the Government was unlikely to provide any part of that sum. Can the Chief Minister inform us on that little contradiction?

Ms Carnell: Contradiction?

MR QUINLAN: Between Mr Knop and the Canberra Times?

MS CARNELL: Mr Knop has not approached me for any extra funding. If he did, the reaction would be the same as the reaction was to the Cannons. The ACT Government is already supporting our national teams by the national teams policy, which gives the Cannons $100,000 a year for marketing purposes and gives $100,000 to the Cosmos and other national teams. That has been debated and is in our budget. That is the total commitment that this Government will be willing to make to national teams in this financial year. We have already supported the Cosmos in the past with loan guarantees and so on. I think we have done as much as any government could be expected to do.

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