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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2113 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

area of the hospital has been a major concern, and the hospital has been addressing it and I have been monitoring how they have been addressing it.

Ms Tucker raised a series of issues I am interested in, and we will see what is causing the concerns about almost every aspect of mental health. One would get the impression that this community, this city, is in dire straits with its health and its health outcomes. That is not the view of the World Health Organisation. The World Health Organisation says that this is a healthy city. From private conversation with members of the World Health Organisation and from the healthy cities program, I know they rate this as one of the healthiest cities in the world. They are singularly impressed.

You, Mr Deputy Speaker, raised the issue of City Edge. I understand you do not like the architecture there. Architecture is not something ministers tend to interfere with. You also asked about handing over houses to community housing. That has not yet been resolved. We are still trying to find a sensible resolution that is acceptable to the Auditor-General, who we know that members of the opposition think is perfect on everything other than when he happens to disagree with them about the $344 million operating loss they left us to deal with.

Mr Berry talked about oppressive industrial relations and unions. Under those oppressive industrial relations he refers to, the nurses union was able to prevent nurses going to a vote on an offer we had made to them. Now our Calvary nurses are the best paid nurses in Australia, and for the foreseeable future will remain such, and unfortunately-I find it disappointing-that is not true of Canberra Hospital nurses. I have been doing everything I can to try to improve the situation for nurses in the work force. That is why I made the offer. That is why the government supported me in doing so. Unfortunately, that was not accepted.

The reality is that we have put significant extra funding into health over the last three years. If a comparison between last month and this month suits Mr Quinlan's accounting procedures, that is good. Doing it over the last three years would resolve the sorts of issues Mr Quinlan is talking about. Have a look at just how much extra money we have put not only into health but also into disabilities. There has been a constant increase in money going to both of those area, but we are seeking to deliver better and better services in each of those areas. They are the main issues we ought to deal with.

MR QUINLAN (9.59): I want to make a couple of points in response. I heard Mr Moore apologise for his errors, but I doubt very much whether there will be a change in style. The speech we heard tonight was replete with the first person "me" and " I"-"I did this", "I did that", "me", "me", "I".

In relation to hospital funding, he came up with a ridiculous notion. He said, "Do not make a comparison with an anticipated result, the one we are told by Treasury will be the likely outcome. Make it with a budget figure that we know absolutely is not representative of the current situation." That strikes me as plain dumb. Now that claims of a 10 per cent increase in funding in the hospital have been discredited, we are moving to three years. In that lies the concession that Mr Moore was making a spurious comparison in the first place.

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