Page 4568 - Week 12 - Thursday, 15 October 2009

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MS GALLAGHER: I cannot speak on behalf of Mr Brennan or about the context in which those comments were made. I certainly know that from time to time the Canberra Times quotes me in a way that takes what I said out of context. So I am not sure, and I have not spoken to Mr Brennan since that article appeared. But I can certainly stand here and honestly say to the Assembly that I have not misled the Assembly, nor have I threatened in any way Calvary Health Care, LCM or any other organisation that I have met with over recent months around the potential purchase of the Calvary Public Hospital.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Burch, a supplementary question?

MS BURCH: Can the minister outline the benefits of the public purchase of Calvary hospital and the impact on services?

MS GALLAGHER: That was certainly the reason why the government initiated this discussion. It is hard for the opposition to understand that this discussion started with a long-term view about the public health system. If that side ever get into office, which is looking increasingly unlikely from their lazy and sloppy performances in opposition, I can honestly stand here and say the future health minister will thank this government for purchasing Calvary public hospital and having a long-term view about the health needs of this city. That is what a future Liberal health minister, God forbid, would say if they ever got the honour and the responsibility of coming onto this side and actually managed things such as the health portfolio.

I took the decision three years ago to start a 10-year rebuild of the public health system. We started that work. Part of that work involves 30 per cent of the public hospital resources which are currently managed by a third-party organisation. When we were looking at how we move forward, how we build an integrated healthcare system, the opportunity arose for the community to own both public hospitals, to manage those hospitals and to have those hospitals sit on the balance sheet of the ACT. LCM accepted the position that I put forward that we see that there are benefits from an integrated model of governance across the ACT health system. As a large provider of health care, they understand that economies of scale matter. That is something that we always struggle with in the ACT.

Environment—energy and water efficiency programs

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, and is in regard to energy and water efficiency programs. Minister, in the 2009-10 budget you announced new funding of $19.1 million for an energy and water efficiency program to deliver a one-stop shop and a range of other water and energy efficiency programs. Can you provide the Assembly with an update of that program and, in particular, why the one-stop shop has not yet been launched?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Hunter for the question and I thank Ms Hunter also for the advance notice that this was a subject that she was hoping to ask me about in question time today.

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