Page 2025 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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MS PORTER: Minister, how will these occurrences help the emergency departments to plan for future similar outbreaks?

MS GALLAGHER: All of these incidents, once they are through and managed, will be reviewed, and they will be reviewed against the context of how the activation of the emergency plan worked. It also provides the opportunity for healthcare providers, including non-government providers, to assess what the response was, how it could be improved, whether there were weaknesses, whether there need to be additions to the arrangements. All of that will be thoroughly investigated once the priorities are finished. The priorities at the moment, of course, are dealing with the amount of sick people and making sure that they are receiving the health care they need, and also investigating the outbreak and making sure we get to the bottom of that.

Construction industry—support

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Minister, according to the Canberra Times, the federal budget, handed down yesterday, commits the commonwealth to just $300,000 in new capital works expenditure in the ACT. This comes as bad news for an already struggling building industry and on the back of a recent spate of several building company financial collapses, with consequences for employment, industry certainty and the economy generally. Minister, what assessment have you made as to the impact on the sector of such paucity of commonwealth expenditure?

MR BARR: In the 15 or so hours since the federal budget was delivered I have not undertaken a full economic impact analysis of the particular measures undertaken or not undertaken in the federal budget. What I can say, though, is that there are a number of projects that were funded or first announced in previous budgets that, of course, continue in this fiscal year that will be coming. Those do include the Majura Parkway, the Constitution Avenue duplication and National Arboretum as examples of ongoing commonwealth work.

I do note—and it probably has escaped the attention of the shadow treasurer—the CSIRO was granted approval in the federal budget to undertake a significant capital upgrade at Black Mountain.

Mr Coe: Out of existing revenue.

MR BARR: Indeed, yes, out of existing revenue and royalties that the CSIRO have earned from the development. At least this will be new capital works expenditure. They have been approved to undertake that upgrade at Black Mountain. And that is important.

But I think it also worth the shadow treasurer recognising that there are, indeed, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects that are ongoing and will certainly be underway during the 2013-14 fiscal year.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

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