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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2378 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

Let me finish by turning now to Tuggeranong-to Brindabella. I want to comment on the covert introduction of new taxes and parking fees. So much for transparent government. Mr Stanhope's much-flaunted transparency is blown apart by the covert introduction of taxes, and the covert introduction of land taxes. This is not good for business and it is not good for the constituents of Brindabella.

What about the single fare bus system? The single fare bus system is highly questionable, and is likely to bring inequities to the travelling public.

Mr Speaker, I will finish by saying that I am deeply concerned about a number of issues, as I have pointed out, regarding the education sector. Overall, I say this is a poor budget. It is without imagination and, certainly in the education sector, it is one where there is a lack of decision-making, and a whole heap of prevarication.

MR CORNWELL (4.59): Mr Speaker, I will be making some comments in relation to my own portfolio responsibilities. I also have some comments from Mrs Cross, who is not here, and in the event that I run out of time I shall seek leave to incorporate the balance of them into the Hansard.

I would like to begin in relation to my own portfolio of complimenting the government on the establishment of $1 million for respite care, and for $300,000 or one-third of the $900,000 for the psycho-geriatric care facility that they promised in their election manifesto. I would also like to compliment them on the convalescent care-

At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MR CORNWELL: I would also like to refer to convalescent care of $600,000. Again, I compliment the government on this, though I must say it appears to be bracketed with the step-down facility. I do not know if that was the original intention, or whether they were to be two separate entities, but in the event that it is bracketed I would caution the government to make sure that, in its quite commendable aim to move patients out of expensive and in-demand hospital beds, it doesn't create a de facto nursing home of some or all of this convalescent facility. I think it is important that we don't move the problem from hospital to a new facility and in fact create, as I said, a de facto nursing home.

The matter of additional funding for the public dental health program remains unresolved as far as the opposition is concerned. We regard it as a broken promise, and no doubt something like up to 3,000 people will be missing out on dental treatment in the next 12 months, given the projected figures that the government has put forward.

In respect of the older persons units in Burnie Court, I would also like the relevant minister to advise me how many facilities are to be provided and when the site might be established. I would also like to know how much and where is the funding for the two aged care liaison officers for the multicultural community that Mr Humphries mentioned. These were part of your election promises and I cannot find them.

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