Page 5552 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 9 December 2009
If people were to drive along and have a look at the massive scaffolding that is hanging off the side of Calvary Public Hospital at the moment, that is for the new $10 million intensive care unit that is being completely funded by the ACT government at one end of the campus. The other new building, at the other end of the campus, is the $10 million subacute facility that is also funded by ACT taxpayers but which sits on the balance sheet of the Little Company of Mary Health Care.
There has been no underfunding of Calvary. Calvary received all the funding that they need to operate at the level that we commissioned services for at Calvary Public Hospital. But I will accept that the capital, the capital requirements and how we fund that have been a challenge for this government. That has not meant that we have not funded things but it has meant that we look very carefully at what we can afford in terms of capital upgrades at Calvary.
This is an issue that the parties at Calvary—that is, the Little Company of Mary and the ACT government—have had many discussions on over the years and have looked at all possible opportunities and avenues, from LCM borrowing money and the ACT going guarantor to a capital charge being imposed. The result of those discussions is the proposal as it stands.
In relation to the discussion I had with Mr Berry, Mr Berry is part of a group that has come out through the consultation process. It is, in fact, not necessarily within the Labor Party but is more general. There is a group that believes that we should not pay for the hospital, that the Little Company of Mary are not entitled to any payment. I do not share those views.
Hospitals—Clare Holland House
MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, on 1 December 2009, the Canberra Times reported that your former cabinet colleague Mr Hargreaves, from the Labor right, had spoken to a number of Labor Party members, people in the general public and people at Calvary about whether Clare Holland House should be included in the Calvary deal. Mr Hargreaves said in the article:
… quite seriously most of them say they don’t support the sale of Clare Holland House.
The article reported that a former health minister and Labor Party leader, Wayne Berry, from the Labor left, clearly agreed. The article quoted him as saying:
I would think that philosophically almost all [Labor] party members would be opposed to the way it’s going.
Do you accept that these views expressed by your colleagues reflect the broader community views in relation to the proposal to sell Clare Holland House?
MS GALLAGHER: The comments that Mr Hanson refers to I do not think would surprise anybody. There are mixed community views about the sale of Clare Holland