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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1174 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

governments are where an enormous amount of influence and power exists within China, whereas the national government does not control a lot of those sorts of issues. The provincial governments really are very important in terms of a relationship, particularly in areas like trade, business development and business opportunities for our companies here.

I certainly hope that the Independent Group is successful in getting this project up and running. If it is successful it will produce some really great potential opportunities for ACT and Australian companies to get their product or their services into provincial China.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, for the benefit of the Assembly, can you explain the Government's involvement in this deal? Is the MOU or friendly cooperation memorandum, as it has been referred to, signed by you connected in any way with the deal for the friendship village, and is the memorandum of understanding or the friendly cooperation memorandum a public document? If so, can you table it?

MS CARNELL: The MOUs that I signed with China I think were part of or were attached to my travel report when I went to China, which means they were tabled in the Assembly. So, yes, they are public documents. The relationship between the Kuai Group and the Independent Group is between them, not between governments. But I will always support ACT businesses in their efforts to achieve opportunities offshore. There is no doubt that I personally was very keen to support the Independent Group, but the contractual relationship is very much between them and the private sector operator in China, as would always be the case. I will find out whether the MOUs were tabled. I am sure they were, but if they were not, I will table them.

I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Canberra Hospital - Outpatient Services

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, yesterday, or it might have been the day before, I took on notice a question from Mr Hargreaves. In relation to a review of outpatient services in the Canberra Hospital, he asked, "Can the Minister advise who will be conducting the review, how much will it cost and when will it report?".

Outpatient services are presently being reviewed by our senior officer of the Canberra Hospital to assess their efficiency and identify any issues that require more extensive investigations. I do not wish to give a name because it is an officer within the hospital who is doing that work. Therefore, of course, in relation to the second part of the question, there is no cost for this review. We are hoping that the initial report will be completed by the end of April, but there is a probability that more extensive investigation of some of the issues will be required. The final outcomes of the review may well take some months.

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