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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2256 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Canberra Hospital. Work that out-an additional $17 million in relation to funding vital initiatives of the Canberra Hospital.

How did you go in relation to that? Well, you can't match it, can you? At what stage in the last seven years did you provide in a single year an additional $17 million for the Canberra Hospital? At what stage in any year over the last seven years did you provide that level of additional support to the Canberra Hospital?

There is an additional $76,000 for hospice care, for people at the terminal stage of their illness-for long-awaited additional beds for the hospice. There is an additional $300,000 for the Calvary Hospital emergency department for growth in demand at the Calvary Hospital. There is an additional $1.2 million at Calvary Hospital and the Canberra Hospital for increased throughput. That is the commitment of this government to health, and it leaves the previous government looking sick and paltry.

Charnwood skate park

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister in his capacity as the local member for Belconnen. Mr Stanhope, I note that in the budget handed down by your colleague the Treasurer yesterday the government removed the $500,000 allocated to the 2002-2003 financial year for a skate park which was to be constructed at the old Charnwood High School site. Chief Minister, on what basis did you agree to the withdrawal of this project? Did you consult with your constituents before taking this decision, and, if not, why not?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Stefaniak, for the question. As the Treasurer has indicated on a number of occasions, we did take some significant decisions in this budget process as a result of our determination to meet our electoral commitments and to govern responsibly, fairly and honestly. As a result of the state of affairs that we discovered when we had a look at the budget situation that we had inherited, we made some tough decisions.

As a consequence, we did reprioritise. We did, as a consequence, not proceed with a number of initiatives, and this is one of them. And I don't apologise for that, Mr Stefaniak. We went to the last election with a range of commitments and promises. We went to the last election with a determination to meet the core issues of the Canberra community in relation to education, health, planning and community safety. And we met every single one of our promises in relation to that.

We met all of our commitments to the people of Canberra in relation to our determination to restore this city to the pre-eminent position that it once had, and wants, in relation to education. And I will repeat our commitments to education and education funding if you would like me to. We dispensed with the $27 million free bus rides. We have actually committed greater support to health services and community care than you ever did. We have restored the capacity of our public hospitals to-

Mr Stefaniak: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order under standing order 118 (a).

MR SPEAKER: Well, I think the Chief Minister has answered your question, to be frank.

MR STEFANIAK: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker, in that case. Chief Minister, what new facilities, if any, will you provide for the people of West Belconnen, now that your government has knocked out the skateboard park and also the tennis courts that were also planned for that area?

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