Page 285 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012

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MS GALLAGHER: The subacute hospital is an agreement I have reached with the University of Canberra. We had signed a heads of agreement between the government—at that time it was prior to caretaker—but now that we are in the position again, that heads of agreement continues. That is the level of commitment I bring to this project. This is a project I have started; it is a project I will complete. But, yes, we are going through, as all projects need to, the due diligence stage, including looking at different financing options for that project—whether it is design, construct, own, build or whether it is a private sector partnership. All of that is being examined. That work has not been completed at this time, but I expect we will be taking some decisions in the next budget.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Minister, will the subacute hospital be another over-promised, underfunded and delayed piece of infrastructure that is symbolic of your government?

MS GALLAGHER: The subacute hospital will be a very important part of the health infrastructure program. It is a very important component of the reform of the health system in terms of ensuring that we have an adequate and appropriate focus on subacute care. It is a significant project to construct a hospital. We will bring to that project all the resources required to deliver that project to the highest possible standard. And that really is focusing on the patient care that will be delivered, the connections with the university and the opportunities for students, including research opportunities that will be generated by that project. I would just say too that it was incredibly flattering to have the Liberals copy yet another part of my health policy that I took to the election.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary question, Madam Speaker.


MR SMYTH: Minister, given that the estimated cost of the subacute hospital alone is a minimum of $280 million, where is the remainder of the funding for the health infrastructure that you are promising coming from?

MS GALLAGHER: We have made commitments of $250 million over the next four years, I think.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: I believe even the Liberals’ copying of my policy had their model of the subacute hospital starting towards the end of, if not in, the next electoral term. There is four years to roll out a number of health projects. We have indicated that the project will be commenced during this election cycle, but it will not be completed by then.

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