Page 1259 - Week 04 - Thursday, 21 March 2013

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The draft variation was released for public comment between 20 July 2012 and 3 September and three submissions were received of which two indicated support for the proposal. The main issue related to site selection. The preferred location has been substantiated in the planning report prepared by the ESA.

The Conservator of Flora and Fauna endorsed an extra provision in the Calwell and Conder precinct codes as part of draft variation 316 to protect conservation values surrounding the site. The new facilities will be vital to the services our emergency response personnel provide. It is important that they are strategically located near major transport corridors to help improve response times to critical and often life-threatening incidents.

Under section 73 of the act I have chosen to exercise my discretion and not formally refer the draft variations to the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services. I believe the issues raised during the consultation process have been adequately considered and that there are no outstanding issues. I commend the variations to the Assembly.

Health system

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: I have received letters from Ms Berry, Dr Bourke, Mr Doszpot, Mr Gentleman, Mr Hanson, Mr Seselja, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mr Hanson be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The state of the ACT Health system

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3.30): It gives me great pleasure to rise today to talk about the state of our health system because, for so many Canberrans, there is little more important, particularly with an ageing population, than the state of our health system. I think it is important that in this place we continually remind ourselves—and we might have debates about things that are not front and centre for people’s livelihoods, like container policies in the Northern Territory or other such things, or frivolous question time dorothy dixers about internal party matters—what actually matters and what the business of this government is. We should be focused directly on things like the health system, front and centre.

When we look at the state of our health system, when we look at the lack of support being provided by this government and when we look at some key statistics, we can only be disappointed. Although there are some success stories and although we have some fantastic staff working day and night to try to deliver good health services, it is no wonder that this jurisdiction is failing and failing badly.

The reason that I put this MPI in today—and I am very glad to have got the call—originates from a couple of things but most particularly from last Friday and the confusion surrounding whether this government is going to go ahead with the tower

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