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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 703 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Canberra seriously. I always respond to such correspondence in a timely manner and try to address all issues raised, even if I cannot solve them.

Further, as manager of government business, I am privy to confidential information about the government's legislative program and the timetable for its introduction. None of that I would describe as fairly routine, unexciting correspondence. I take a keen interest in the workings of my office and have regular discussions with my staff about their work and issues in order to see that the office operates efficiently and effectively.

Canberra Hospital

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question was for the Minister for Health. In his absence, perhaps the Treasurer will take the question and, if he cannot answer it, take it on notice. Mr Quinlan, could you please provide to the Assembly now or by close of business today a complete breakdown of exactly how the government's extra $8.7 million of funding to the Canberra Hospital was allocated? Specifically, how many extra cross-weighted separations were purchased, how many extra nurses have been or will be employed, what new equipment will be or has been purchased, and how much has been allocated to compensation claims?

MR QUINLAN: Mr Smyth will not be surprised that I will take that on notice, Mr Speaker. I will take it on notice with the caveat that it is possible, because I just do not know exactly what is going to be required to put those figures together. Certainly, you will have those figures provided.

MR SMYTH: As a supplementary question, I ask: will you also confirm the date upon which the $8.7 million was transferred to the hospital and how much of the money has been spent?

MR QUINLAN: I will take the supplementary question on notice as well.

Costings of election promises

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Quinlan, in his capacity as both Treasurer and Acting Chief Minister. Mr Quinlan, the incoming government's briefs contain costings of all Labor's election promises. This frank and fearless advice suggests that, for Labor to implement all of its election promises, the ACT will have to go into deficit.

Does the government still intend to keep all of its election promises to the people of Canberra, regardless of the effect this may have on the territory's bottom line?

MR QUINLAN: Certainly this government does intend to keep its election promises. I will be talking on this a bit later today. We are committed to those promises and we will keep them. That will not be easy, but that is the price you pay for being on this side of the house.

MRS CROSS: I have a supplementary question. Mr Quinlan, exactly what level of deficit does the government consider to be unacceptable?

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