Page 167 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 16 February 2011

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MS GALLAGHER: There are options on the form. I am happy to get members a copy of that form. My memory of looking at the form is that it does specify clinical reasons and “other”. So there are choices within the clinical reasons, because doctors have given us feedback that they do not want to necessarily write out the reason they are doing it. They want a quick way of filling out that form. So it gives them a choice of options there, but it also allows capacity for other reasons, such as “patient improves”—that would fit under clinical reasons, if a patient is improving—or leave arrangements or whatever it may be. That would be able to be noted on the form.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Minister, when did you first become aware that this ACT Health policy was not being followed?

MS GALLAGHER: I believe it was mid-June.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: I can add to that. In our discussions in this place and during the early discussions in this place I had been given consistent advice from my department that the waiting list policy was being managed. I had that advice checked with the surgical area at the hospital. They assured me that all aspects of the waiting list policy were being followed. Actually, that was prior to coming into this place. Once the Assembly adjourned, I think, I had a meeting with Health and they indicated to me that they had done an early audit of a number of cases where it had become clear to them that not all parts of the waiting list policy regarding classifications had been followed.

Government office accommodation

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Chief Minister and concerns the new government office accommodation project. Minister, noting that there are a number of well located buildings due to be vacated over the next few years into which the government could co-locate government office departments which are close to the Legislative Assembly, are you committed to constructing a new office building or have you also considered the utilisation of existing buildings?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. Ms Le Couteur, there has been extensive, detailed and quite long-term consideration of all aspects of the proposal or the possibility of the ACT government constructing on its own behalf, or having constructed, a purpose-built ACT government office. It is work that we have been undertaking for probably four years. It has been very complex and very detailed. It has gone through a whole range of stages in relation to scoping, design, feasibility, costing and the development of financial models.

Of course, through that extensive work consideration has been given to all other possibilities and options in relation to how to best and most appropriately house or provide office space for our staff. Yes, we have looked at every conceivable option.

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