Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 October 2009) . . Page.. 4332 ..
MS GALLAGHER: No services will be cut. I think what the opposition are now trying to say, if I understand the argument that is being put forward—and I note their absolute and total silence on this proposal in the two weeks that it has been out. It did manage to elicit a Hanson term, which he always uses in his media interviews: a raft of ideas—there is a raft of measures and a raft of ideas—except they are completely devoid of them. They are silent about where they sit. This is fundamentally a question about ownership and governance of a public hospital in the ACT. The opposition now are trying to cause alarm by saying that we cannot afford it. Mr Smyth, from where I sit, we cannot afford not to do it. The impact of not doing it and of investing the $200 million that we need to invest in Calvary Public Hospital in order to do it will hit our operating result, Mr Smyth. If you are going to sit there and say, “That’s fine; we can do that,” and the opposition will give us permission to double the deficit in that final year to pay for that, that is something I would like to hear from the opposition.
Mr Hanson: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: could you ask that the Treasurer address the chair and not the Greens convener?
MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question?
MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. What advantages are there to the ACT in relation to the proposed sale of Calvary, including the financial advantages?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. There are a number of advantages that the government believes from the potential purchase of Calvary Public Hospital. One of them is that the ACT government and the ACT community would own a significant asset. The second is that we would own and operate both public hospitals, thereby allowing for the integrated care that could be provided across the ACT health system.
It is unusual—I cannot think of any other place in Australia where 30 per cent of public hospital beds are owned and operated by a second organisation to the public system—
Mr Smyth interjecting—
MS GALLAGHER: Well, Mr Smyth, you can no doubt furnish me with the information where 30 per cent of the public hospital beds in a jurisdiction are managed by one other organisation.
Mr Smyth interjecting—
MS GALLAGHER: We look forward to your providing that, Mr Smyth: 30 per cent of any state jurisdiction’s public hospital beds being managed by another organisation; one other organisation, Mr Smyth.
Mr Smyth: You haven’t done the research.
Mr Hanson interjecting—