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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2026 ..

Mr Quinlan: We wouldn't want to debate that now while they're still deliberating, now, would we, Treasurer?

MR HUMPHRIES: No, not at all. I simply note that this debate is a much less heated one than on the last occasion we debated this, and I thank members for their support in those circumstances.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.20 to 2.31 pm

Questions without notice

Care of the aged

MR STANHOPE: My question is to the Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services. A story in Saturday's Canberra Times reported the tragic case of Florence and David Bruce, a couple married for 46 years and long-time residents of Canberra, who are to be separated because there is nowhere in Canberra to provide the high-level care that Mr Bruce, a person with dementia, needs. Last night the minister told WIN television news that he was a bit disappointed in the response from the federal Minister for Aged Care, Mrs Bronwyn Bishop, to his approach for help with a short-term solution to the territory's aged care problems.

Does the minister agree that the territory government has an obligation to meet the health care needs of all Canberrans and that in the case of Mr Bruce it has failed? What was Mrs Bishop's disappointing response to the minister's approach?

MR MOORE: Thank you for the opportunity to answer that question. I think it is very important to understand that these two matters are not related. I think I mentioned in the Assembly not so long ago that there are times when people who are seeking treatment in one way or another in the ACT are far better served when they are in an appropriate location that it is inappropriate for us to have in the ACT. An example I gave was the burns unit at Westmead Hospital. If somebody has serious burns they are stabilised in Canberra-

Mr Berry: Oh, come on, Michael.

MR MOORE: Mr Berry, who was minister for health for years and understands this issue, of course, has a politically different approach. The reality is, as happened when Mr Berry was minister as well, that burns are dealt with at Westmead. Patients are stabilised here and we transfer them there because that is the place where we know the focus of people is appropriate and it is where they can get the best possible care.

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