Page 2078 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, the minister for housing is reported this morning as saying that at $1.4 billion this policy of the Greens is too expensive. Do you agree with your minister or will you be supporting the Greens?

MS GALLAGHER: I am surprised, Mr Smyth, because you had not listened to any of my answer before, that you have risen to your feet to ask this question. It is both. Yes, there is an aspirational target—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! You have asked the question.

MS GALLAGHER: If you had listened to me earlier in my answer, I think there is a question about how we deliver it and the timetable for delivery. But do not take that to mean that we are not supportive of improving our public housing service response or our social housing service response or the commitments we have made with the ACT Greens. I support the comments Ms Burch has made. I think there are some financial impacts that we have to look at, and we have been discussing those, as we do, every quarter when we meet with the Greens, and in every budget you will see increases in allocations of funding for social housing responses.

That is part of who the Labor Party is, Mr Smyth. We care about people who are doing it tough. We want to look at innovative ways to provide new social support services to the community, but we do it in a financially responsible way. I think that is the point that Ms Burch is trying to make. But that does not mean that we do not believe that we can continue to deliver increases and innovative responses.

Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital

MR HANSON: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. In yesterday’s Canberra Times, you are reported as “pledging a new era of government accountability”. Minister, on 7 October 2008, you stated in relation to negotiations with the Little Company of Mary:

Governments must also put their plans on the table. We have put our plans on the table.

At the time, you did not mention your plans to purchase Calvary. At the time, you were in fact in secret negotiations with the Little Company of Mary to purchase Calvary hospital, a fact that only became known after a leak after the election. How can the people of Canberra trust you to adhere to your new pledge of accountability when you failed to be transparent in your dealings with the Little Company of Mary?

MS GALLAGHER: The people of Canberra will judge me and judge me accordingly, just as the Assembly will and has in their promotion of me to this position. And 2012 provides the community with the opportunity to pass their judgement.

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