Page 3904 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013
aware that their money will go to providing improved equipment and other resources at the hospital that will make it a better place to stay.
It has always surprised me how much the local community is prepared to criticise local health services when it is our hospital. If we get sick, that is where we end up; if our family gets sick, that is where we end up. So we have a vested interest in making sure it is the best it can be. Community support, getting behind the Canberra Hospital Foundation, is one way that we can support the work of our dedicated staff, the excellence that is found across our public health system, and a way of ensuring that the fundraising dollars stay in the ACT.
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in the current budget over $14 million was identified in general savings. How were these savings achieved within the directorates?
MR BARR: In a variety of different ways. In some instances, particular programs were ceased. Some particular programs reached the end of their funding cycle. Some administrative efficiencies were achieved across agencies. Some programs have been restricted or are being delivered in another way or new technology has been utilised to assist. In some areas, things like advertising budgets and the like have been reduced—travel budgets, administrative budgets et cetera. Cabinet is of course always on the lookout for ways to save public money.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Minister, is the government currently planning to save more or less than the $14 million in general savings identified this year?
MR BARR: The government is always looking to save money.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Treasurer, why is it important for the government to look to save money?
MR BARR: To redirect funds to higher priorities.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Coe.
MR COE: Which specific programs have seen savings under this measure to date?
MR BARR: Those programs are outlined in the budget papers.
ACTEW Corporation Ltd—water billing
MR DOSZPOT: My question is to Minister Barr. Minister, ACAT ruled in favour of a Canberra couple who were slugged with a $2,820 water bill after ACTEW failed to inform them, in a timely manner, of a leak. In doing so, ACAT noted the following: