Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2190 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

I am very agitated about this attempt to create a new version of history as a result of the Chief Minister's failure in the first place in relation to the Kingston/Acton land swap and the new version of events which this Minister is trying to create. The Government have failed to act in accordance with recommendations which were made known to them almost a year ago. They have taken absolutely no notice of them, although they said at the time they agreed in principle. The community of the ACT has been severely let down because the Chief Minister always wanted to get that hospice off that site. That is why it was not included in the negotiations on the now discredited land swap, and that is why no attempt has been made for almost a year to recover the $4m which the Commonwealth owes us. They owe us. That is what it boils down to. Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the record needs to be set straight in respect of that matter. No amount of twisting and turning can change what occurred.

I will go back to what Mr Moore said in relation to hindsight. I suppose you could say that if Mrs Carnell had negotiated a better deal on the Acton/Kingston land swap we would not have had to worry about the hospice. It would have been a good decision. If Mrs Carnell had got the $4m out of the Commonwealth that it is going to cost to replace the hospice, we would not have to worry about it. Well, the hindsight that we get from this is the fact that we have been abandoned by our Chief Minister and that is why we are going to have to pay the price for her incompetence.

MR HARGREAVES (5.12): I would like to have seen some indication of how in a monetary sense the Government is going to address some of the overspends in the hospital. I have not seen any in what I have looked at. First, I want to touch on some of the positive things. I was very heartened when I saw a lot of the allied health professional services come out of the hospital and go to ACT Community Care. Because that service has been allowed to function according to what I think is a very good charter, it has been a very successful service. My understanding is that it not only pays its way but also provides excellent services out there to the community. I think whoever is behind letting the managers manage in that area needs to be congratulated. They have done an excellent job.

The artificial limb service is a very unexploited service. Although it provides an absolutely brilliant service, it is unsung. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the manager of the RALA service, Mr Barry Leech, who has been with that service for 30 years. I would urge the Minister and/or his advisers to consider an appropriate nomination for some sort of award for that officer. He has been exemplary. He has gone back and forth between the Commonwealth and us like a table tennis ball. Nonetheless, he has still provided a superb service. That service, without competing, is a very good example of how the public sector, when encouraged to do so, can provide services which not only return good moneys to the taxpayer but also do a brilliant job.

I would not like to see the health services provided to the community through our health centre services reduced any further. The Whitlam days of money flowing everywhere are long gone, but I think we need to remember that not all the health services in the ACT are centred on the hospital. The hospital has difficulties with its funds management. I suspect that is because management is too busy concentrating on the big picture and not enough on the smaller picture. Some of the administrative practices within the hospital leave an enormous amount to be desired and, on examination, could achieve reasonable savings in functions quite successfully.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .