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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3371 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Commonwealth. The Commonwealth will need to have them in a facility that meets their standards. It is most likely that they will occur within existing aged care facilities or within a hospital, but provided in a non-acute setting.

It is not a hospital bed, a medical bed or a surgical bed; it is a non-acute, nursing home-type bed where people can have nursing home-type care while they are waiting for a place in a nursing home. It is a significant step forward. It frees up about 40 beds in our hospitals-as you will be aware, Mr Cornwell. At any one time, about 35 to 40 nursing home patients are in hospital beds in our hospitals. By having these transitional care beds in place, we can allocate to nursing home-type patients the transitional care beds and put surgical and medical patients into high-cost, acute care hospital beds. Making sure we get better utilisation of those beds means more access to elective surgery and more access to medical services.

MR CORNWELL: Thank you for that confirmation, Minister, but that means you are still not fast-tracking the provision of nursing home beds outside of hospitals. My supplementary question is: what is your time line on that?

MR CORBELL: Mr Cornwell knows that we are fast-tracking them, Mr Speaker. Indeed, only yesterday I was very pleased to meet with one of the key managers of Southern Cross Homes in New South Wales. I encourage Mr Cornwell and Mr Smyth to give him a call and ask him how he feels about the ACT government's approval processes in relation to the new site at Garran. To use his words, "Our approvals were crucial for them."They can now go and bid for beds from the Commonwealth.

We are taking appropriate action to fast-track these beds. The Liberals can complain, whinge and carry on all they like, but this government is acting. Two new facilities and two new grants of land have been approved in the past month, and 50 additional transitional care beds have been put in place due to the efforts of this government.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

CountryLink train services

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, during question time this week, Mr Cornwell asked whether I would make available a letter I wrote to the New South Wales Premier in relation to CountryLink services to Sydney. I table that letter. I present the following papers:

Copy of letter from Mr Stanhope to the Premier of New South Wales, dated 20 August 2003.

Canberra-Queanbeyan Railway-Acknowledgement, dated May 2001.

Minute from Acting Senior Director, Policy Group, Chief Minister's Department, to the Chief Minister, dated 18 August 2003.

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