Page 3985 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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In closing, I note that, by the measure set by Mr Doszpot, the Canberra Liberals have no interest in this area—particularly Mr Doszpot, because he is not here to engage in this debate. Indeed, only one has stood to talk on this. It demonstrates the lack of interest from those opposite about the vision for the future or our city. That is the measure that Mr Doszpot has brought into this place; it is a measure that he will be measured by from here on in.

I commend Ms Berry for bringing this important motion to the Assembly today and I look forward to the next phase of these important plans for the heart of our great city.

MADAM SPEAKER: Are you going to speak to close, Ms Berry? I just draw your attention to the fact that there are four minutes before lunch. Do you want to conclude the matter now?

Ms Berry: Madam Speaker, it would probably be better if I could come back after lunch to conclude and close the debate.

MADAM SPEAKER: On that basis, I will say that I understand it is the wish of the Assembly to suspend for lunch.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.26 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital—emergency evacuation

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, in the media yesterday it was revealed that last December the Canberra Hospital emergency department was evacuated on a code black as a consequence of threatening behaviour by a patient. The information concerning this code black was obtained using FOI provisions. Given this event, minister, can you outline what efforts have been made to ensure the ongoing safety of hospital staff, particularly at the emergency department?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Hanson for the question. All of these incidents are reviewed when they occur. It is regrettable that they occur and that staff in the hospital are put in a position where their safety is at risk. I would say that it is not uncommon, although that was a very serious incident. But the emergency department deals with lots of patients who are difficult to manage and at times are in a very distressed state.

All of these incidents are reviewed. I do not believe that there was anything in a systemic way that needed to change. Obviously there are safety protections in the emergency department, and that goes to the levels of staff. It goes to the visibility of the department, and it also goes to access into the department from the waiting areas. There was not anything major drawn to my attention about changes that had to be made, although these incidents are reviewed. The safety of the staff is paramount, and support is provided to staff when these incidents occur.

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