Page 1669 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 13 May 2015

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In all of this, how does the minister answer this question about his magic hospital: how do you fit in 166 overnight beds in the first year it opens if it has only capacity for 140? That is impossible maths, is it not? We have an answer that is categorical. Mr Grant Cary-Ides, who is the expert on this, said this was based on the need for current and future demand. Perhaps that was not true. Perhaps Mr Cary-Ides and Ms Gallagher were not telling me the truth back then, when they said we are going to build it with 200 beds to meet current and future demand.

Now the minister is saying it is 215 beds. The minister is out there saying it is 215 beds and I am saying, “Well, is that true? Because I was told it was 200. That’s fantastic. The hospital’s grown. We should be rejoicing, members. We should be rejoicing that there are all these extra beds.” So I look for the proof, because we have learned that when Mr Corbell makes utterances in here about bed capacity—be it about the jail or be it about the hospital—it is prudent to check the facts. When you check the facts, when you check the contract—the smoking gun, as it were—which is for the design of the hospital, it says 140.

We have experts, the health officials and the former minister saying it needs to be built with 200 to meet current and future demand. We have this minister saying we are building it with 215, and we have the reality that it is being built with 140. That is the truth. The minister is talking about outpatient facilities and spaces that were always going to be built and is trying to say that they are beds.

It is no wonder the jail is full. It is no wonder nobody believes this minister anymore when he utters his words. I reiterate my plea for this government to reinstate the beds. If they have not got the money to do so in the budget, I know where they can get it—there is $783 million sitting there that is better spent on health and other important local services than a tram.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

ACT Policing—budget

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.01): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes: 

(a) that $15.36 million is being stripped from ACT Policing’s budget over four years from 2013-2014;

(b) when news of the decision broke in 2013, the Australian Federal Police Association (AFPA) said more than 40 positions could be lost;

(c) the AFPA said the pressure on positions would be compounded in the last two years of the measure;

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