Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1373 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
I would like to emphasise that the voluntary redundancies that are being negotiated by Mr Rayment are being negotiated with the unions, with the staff, and will be targeted to best suit the needs of the hospital rather than the individual. In other words, if somebody puts their hand up to go for a voluntary redundancy - I understand that quite a number of people have already done that - that will not necessarily be accepted. If it is going to have an impact on patient care it will not be accepted. The next step is that Mr Rayment will be negotiating with the unions and the staff to make sure that we can deliver the best possible impact.
We recognise that there is a problem with the funding situation at the hospital, and the majority of members here expressed their grave concern not so long ago about the way that was being handled. What has happened is that the Government has said, "Yes, we take that seriously; we are going to handle this". We have already made some progress with the rectification by finding revenues from places like the Department of Veterans' Affairs by purchasing extra surgery. The projected operating loss now is at $4.8m for this year. That is the first step.
I have to say though that the hardest part is not the first part. We were able to find some revenue. The hardest part of this exercise is getting the second $5m. That is why it is that we are looking at redundancies, because with a one-off payment we can then seek to get the long-term savings. But I emphasise again that our priority one is patient care.
Ms Carnell: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I want to respond to a question from Mr Corbell. He asked a question with regard to the Australian-Sino friendship village and said:
It was reported in a Beijing newspaper on 29 October 1998 that a Friendly Cooperative Agreement was signed between the Mayor of Beijing and the Chief Minister of the ACT. Later it was mentioned that the Independent Group of Canberra and a Beijing group signed an agreement entailing $US35m to build an Australian-Chinese friendship village in Canberra over a one year period. Has this village proceeded? If not, when will it start? Has a site been decided? If so where will this be?
He went on to ask this supplementary question:
Can you explain the relationship between the Friendly Cooperative Agreement and the Friendly Australian-Chinese Village? Is this Memorandum of Understanding a public document? If so, can you table it?