Page 5166 - Week 12 - Thursday, 27 October 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne has the floor.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, why has your directorate failed to pay some accounts for such a long period compared to the 30 days that bills are supposed to be paid in in accordance with the great Labor-Greens agreement?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Dunne for her question. I think the one invoice that you are referring to was an invoice that was brought to our attention on 21 September, and it has since been paid.

MR SESELJA: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Minister, has your directorate paid commercial rates of interest on the overdue payments to NBSS? If yes, how much and when? If not, why not?

MS BURCH: The amounts owing to NBSS have been paid in full.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Yes, Mr Seselja. Minister, why have not NBSS been paid interest on this invoice?

MS BURCH: I think we have spoken about this a number of times in this place. The invoices, the amounts of money owed, were in dispute. There was no clarity about what was going to be paid. It is my understanding that the amounts have been settled and moneys have been paid.

Health—cancer treatment

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Can you please update the Assembly on the recent improvements to accommodation options for cancer patients who are required to travel to the ACT for treatment?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. The government has finalised the purchase of a new accommodation facility, or a new home, which will be known as a home away from home. It is a house located in Duffy that will be transformed into a facility for patients who are undergoing cancer treatment and recovery and need a supportive place to stay in the ACT. We do know that about 50 per cent of patients coming through the cancer stream are from New South Wales. We have some accommodation available at the Canberra Hospital, but there is definitely a need for more accommodation.

This house was able to be purchased through a grant from the commonwealth government of $1.8 million, which was provided in the 2010-11 budget. This house will provide cancer patients and their carers with a supportive, homelike environment during their treatment and recovery and will be utilised particularly by people who are often travelling long distances for their daily treatment.

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