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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 2450 ..

MS TUCKER: Mr Smyth interjects. It really shows that he has no idea what we are talking about. He says that it is because the Hospice and Palliative Care Society keep changing what they want. Of course they do. They have been put in the position where they have to come up with ideas suddenly because they were given a feasibility study and because a decision had been made. They are saying, "Hang on. Can we look for something else?". This motion is criticising the fact that they had to be reacting like that. It is saying, "Why was this process not opened up right from the beginning?". "We had already made a decision", Mr Moore said, "but then we listened". That is what the criticism is about.

My second amendment adds after the word "Commonwealth" in paragraph 2(a) the words "if necessary". Obviously it would be silly to require the Government to consult with the Commonwealth if it was not Commonwealth land. Paragraph 2(c) is about fully consulting the community. I imagine it means - and Mr Stanhope can clarify if I am incorrect - that if a site has an impact on people residing in the neighbourhood we will go through normal processes. As I understood it, that is what Mr Stanhope meant by that paragraph.

If my amendments are supported, I am happy to support this motion. The hospice is an important facility for the ACT. It is a lasting decision that we are making. We will have this hospice, hopefully, for at least 50 years.

I understand that in the initial discussions it was thought that it would be useful to have two hospices. I do not know whether that has been discussed since. That has come to me from a number of constituents since the hospice site has become a public issue again. They are asking, "Why is that not a consideration? Why are we not looking at two hospices so that we can accommodate people at the extreme ends of the ACT?". I was told by the palliative care people that there are people from Tuggeranong who now stay at Canberra Hospital because even Acton is too far for them. In the discussion, there is room for that possibility to be brought up again, but probably it will not be. I just raise it for the record, because it seems as though it is something that was raised and was dropped.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (6.39): I think the issues have been fairly well traversed. There are a number of things I must do. For the benefit of members, I need to read the letter sent by Mrs Carnell to Paul Keating which sealed the land swap. It is a letter of 10 April from Mrs Carnell to the Prime Minister.

Mr Smyth: Incorporate it. Go for it.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Smyth. That is most generous of you. This was the formal exchange of letters between the ACT Government and the Commonwealth on the Acton-Kingston land swap:

The Commonwealth agrees ... to provide the ACT with Kingston. In return the ACT Government agrees to provide the Commonwealth with the whole of the Acton Peninsula site up to the ANU border minus the hospice and the cottage.

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