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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 2 June 2015) . . Page.. 1888 ..

We are investing in health. We have invested over $900 million in health infrastructure since 2009. As I said in my earlier answers, we have invested in better community health, we have invested in the University of Canberra public hospital, we have invested in better cancer treatment services at the Canberra Hospital, and we have invested in new maternity services. And right now we are building an extension to the emergency department at Canberra Hospital, increasing its capacity by over 30 per cent, and we are investing in the development of secure mental health facilities at Symonston.

So no-one can doubt this government’s commitment to investment in public health infrastructure. The real question is: why do those opposite continue to defend the cuts that Tony Abbott is making—I beg your pardon; that the Prime Minister is making—to our health system? These are cuts that, according to the latest Treasury projections, mean $228 million less than we should have been receiving under the national health partnership reforms over the four-year period. That is their record. Ours speaks for itself.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, how many new emergency hospital beds could be built with $800 million?

MR CORBELL: I do not know whether Mr Coe noticed, but we are already expanding the emergency department at the Canberra Hospital. It is underway right now. It is a $20 million-plus project. It is going to increase bed capacity by over 30 per cent in the Canberra Hospital emergency department. Those are the priorities that Canberrans want to see. We are meeting those expectations because we are making the investment in the emergency department.

Mr Hanson: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, the minister is required to be concise and directly relevant. The question was: how many emergency beds could be built with $800 million? I ask him to answer that directly and be relevant.

MADAM SPEAKER: I remind the minister of the standing orders. They do say that the minister needs to be concise and directly relevant. There has been quite a bit of latitude because there have been four successive questions that have asked the minister how many of various things could be bought with $800 million. I also remind him of the Speaker’s capacity under the standing orders to direct a member to terminate the answer if it is not meeting the provisions of the standing order. I remind the member to be directly relevant to the question, which was: how many new emergency hospital beds can be built with $800 million?

MR CORBELL: I have concluded my answer, Madam Speaker.


DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you tell the Assembly about the new online tool HealthPathways?

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