Page 2896 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013
soon as possible. I have had some very good meetings with the ANF in the last fortnight, and I am hopeful we will be able to reach agreement soon.
DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (4.44): I want to highlight just one health initiative out of the many ways the ACT government’s 2013-14 budget is delivering the benefits of good government for the people of Canberra. At the same time, this budget responsibly takes a path back to surplus. A new nurse-led walk-in centre to be opened at the newly completed Belconnen health centre in the town centre is great news for Belconnen residents and people working in downtown Belconnen who want advice or medical assistance without having to make an appointment or payment.
It will expand the range of community health services available in Belconnen, which were in a poor state when Labor came to office. Since then, we have had initiatives such as the west Belconnen health co-op, with ACT government support, address the lack of doctors at that end of Belconnen, and this budget sees further investment in Calvary hospital in east Belconnen. The nurse-led walk-in centre and a new Belconnen health centre in the middle of Belconnen illustrate this government’s comprehensive approach to the health needs of the residents of Belconnen. Through this budget the government is promoting visionary projects, transforming Canberra.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.7—ACT Local Hospital Network—$550,054,000 (net cost of outputs), totalling $550,054,000
DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (4.46): The local hospital network appropriation in this budget is especially good news for my constituents in Ginninderra while delivering the benefits of good government for all Canberrans and leading us back to surplus. This budget includes over $8 million for the design of the new University of Canberra public hospital, the first stage in a major investment in this new hospital, and the budget has significant new investments in Calvary hospital. These budgets are not just a major boost for health in the north, they also help maintain and create jobs in the ACT public service and the private sector as a time when employment in Canberra, especially in the federal public service and its service industries, is under threat.
The University of Canberra public hospital will provide a great range of patient care in north Canberra along with training and research opportunities integrated with the University of Canberra. The hospital will become another major employer in north Canberra, and the capital works will maintain jobs in the construction industries. This budget continues the ongoing investment in Calvary hospital with new beds, including 10 general inpatient beds, a dedicated four-bed stroke unit, a new eight-bed rapid assessment unit and hospital-in-the home beds.
Patients, visitors and staff of Calvary are also excited about the $1.3 million allocated for the design of a multi-storey car park at Calvary, allowing up to 700 vehicles to park on site. These projects illustrate this government’s commitment to Canberra’s quality of life and a healthy vision for this city’s future.