Page 604 - Week 02 - Thursday, 14 February 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

Ms Gallagher interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: I cannot hear Ms Berry’s question, Chief Minister, because of your—

Ms Gallagher interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Chief Minister, often I have noticed in the last couple days that I am calling people to order, and while I am trying to call people to order, you are talking over me. I cannot hear the supplementary question from your member.

MS BERRY: Chief Minister, what opportunities do you see from the ACT participating in regional forums for both the territory and our neighbouring councils?

MS GALLAGHER: I think it is not only the opportunities that I can see forward, but it is also the practical outcomes that we are seeing already. In health we have already had the great outcome of using Queanbeyan Hospital to provide some elective surgery, and we are continuing to work on areas where we can keep that going into the future.

Last week the New South Wales health minister and I signed another two agreements in health—one was for renal dialysis and one was for cardiac patients in the region. Renal patients might no longer have to travel to Canberra because they can get the specialist support through Canberra Hospital out in their local health districts. With cardiac patients, we heard from a man who had actually died. He had a heart attack and died in Goulburn. He was resuscitated and brought by ambulance to Canberra Hospital where he attended the cardiac catheter lab. Before he arrived at Canberra Hospital all the information about his ECG and his health status had been reported to the cardiac specialists; they had that information. He was received into the cardiac catheter lab, and he said he was up and walking by lunchtime. These are the practical impacts of some of these agreements. New South Wales ambulances will be equipped with machines that essentially communicate with Canberra Hospital, and that made a difference to that man’s life. It was very heartening—no pun intended—to hear his story about how his life had been saved.

Also, obviously, the Majura Parkway is another important regional partnership. I think the mayors of the surrounding areas are very pleased to see that road going ahead with agreement from the Australian and ACT governments. While the New South Wales government has not provided any assistance—nor have the councils for that matter—(Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what is your longer term vision in terms of our regional relationships?

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