Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 May 2015) . . Page.. 1665 ..
ability to go forward with an informed debate. I would like to think there can be some agreement around what capacity is needed and how much capacity is being built. For me, that is the bottom line.
We need a clear analysis of need. Members of this place should have a line of sight on that so that we can have an informed public discussion. Once we have a clear understanding of that and clarity of the terms being used in the debate, we can then move away from the subjective arguments about who thought what references were being made. It will let us focus on what is actually needed. At the end of the day that is the thing that I am most focused on: making sure that we get a new hospital at the University of Canberra that addresses the projected need in the ACT.
I noted Mr Hanson’s reference to the size of the AMC. He said that the original call was for 374 beds in the jail. Interestingly, that is basically what we have now. I acknowledge that this has been achieved through the addition of bunks and various other bits and pieces. That is actually what we have at the AMC now—374; yet we still need capacity. We are building new capacity to meet that need. I think that goes to an important point as well. We need to understand that governments can and sometimes will need to re-scope projects.
This could be based on new evidence regarding models or other complementary facilities that have been constructed to reduce the pressures or simply because since an original position was taken circumstances have changed, whether that is because of an unexpected rise in users or an unexpected fall in users. That is an important point to acknowledge here. Even somebody like Professor Poulos will be making an analysis based on his best judgement about what will happen over the next 10 years. Nonetheless, I think having those documents tabled in the Assembly gives all of us in this place a sound basis from which to have this discussion.
The second part of my amendment calls on the government to ensure that the Nursing and Midwifery Federation, as they are now known, are engaged on an ongoing basis in future design committees. I know that there has been a level of involvement but, again, I was certainly concerned to read the public comments by the nurses federation about their uncertainty about what was proposed. Also, when I saw Ms Miragaya, the head of the nurses federation, at a recent public event and had a discussion with her about this matter, she made a number of comments to me about her uncertainty about what the exact situation was.
I think the first step we have to take here is to clear up this uncertainty and work out if there is, in fact, a policy difference. Then we can move forward from there. I will be supporting Mr Corbell’s amendment today but I have moved this amendment. It adds to Mr Corbell’s amendment in an attempt to ensure we get clarity in this place, that we do not have a politically driven debate but that we have a fact driven debate. I commend my amendment to the Assembly.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.44): I will not oppose the amendment to the amendment. It is a very bad amendment from Mr Corbell; he is essentially attempting to rewrite history. We heard that in his speech. He is attempting to spin his way out of having cut 60 hospital beds, in my view in a most disingenuous