Page 3989 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, have you visited other emergency departments in recent months? How did these EDs compare with the Canberra Hospital?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Berry for the question. As members know, I did visit two of Brisbane’s emergency departments with ACT Health officials. It was a day trip. I visited the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and the Princess Alexandra Hospital. The reason I chose to go there was that both of these hospitals have made considerable improvements in their NEAT targets. I spoke to hospital staff and health officials about what they had done to improve their ED processes.

The visit confirmed what I had been told by those here locally, that ED performance is a whole-of-hospital issue. Both of the Brisbane hospitals are comparable to Canberra in terms of the number of patients presenting per year. But each of the hospitals had significantly more beds. In this sense, the 31 new inpatient beds that we are funding will have a positive effect.

But despite our fewer beds, I think one hospital was an 800-bed hospital and their ED performance was marginally better than Canberra Hospital with a bed number between 550 and 600 beds. But despite the fewer beds, Canberra Hospital has similar levels of performance for admitted patients but both hospitals were doing a lot better on non-admitted patients—that is, those that return home after their care.

So there were some lessons to be learnt from this visit. I went with the clinical director of the emergency department and the deputy director-general of Canberra Hospital. It was a senior high-level delegation with our ears open. It confirmed a lot of the planning that is already in place and the changes have been brought in but it also provided us with some insight into further changes that can be made, particularly around non-admitted patients in the hospital.

Planning—proposed Belconnen hotel

MR COE: My question is to the minister responsible for planning. Minister, on Thursday, 24 October the Canberra Labor Club announced that it was proposing to build an 11-storey, 150-room hotel in Belconnen. Minister, what actions are you proposing to take to ensure that there is no perception of a conflict of interest in considering this proposal?

MR CORBELL: I have certainly had no discussions in relation to the proposal with any representative of that group. Any proposal from the Labor Club or any other developer will be managed in the way that all development applications are managed, and that is, through the arms-length process set out under the Planning and Development Act.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, will the organisation, the Canberra Labor Club, be subject to lease variation charge and will you rule out using your call-in powers?

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