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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 June 2015) . . Page.. 1932 ..

There is investment in foot and bike paths and maintenance at Lake Ginninderra, where we spend time with barbecues and swimming in summer, kayaking when we get a chance, and dog walking. It is a very popular place for people who live in Belconnen. There are important upgrades at Calvary hospital worth $12.4 million, particularly around parking. In community services, we continue to provide the chance for those who need a hand or need support to get it. Through the better services pilot initiatives, we will continue with $1.2 million in west Belconnen and with families around the ACT as we continue to work towards permanent improvements in the way we provide services to our community. These investments are building on past investments in Belconnen which nurture the life and pride of the community.

Our budget does this right across Canberra. Canberra’s people and our economy have managed to weather the biggest attacks on our city and our workers from the commonwealth government in nearly 20 years. We have more to be proud of than ever. All members should support this motion.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (11.22): With my colleagues I thank Dr Bourke for bringing this important motion before the Assembly today, the day after the ACT budget. I am proud to be able to talk about the 2015-16 ACT budget handed down by Chief Minister Andrew Barr yesterday, and Labor’s exciting plan to renew and revitalise Canberra.

This is a budget that focuses on the ACT Labor government’s priorities. This is a budget that promotes urban and suburban renewal, a budget that promotes investment in schools and hospitals, a budget that enhances Canberra’s livability, builds social inclusion and improves our integrated transport network. It is a budget that invests across our city in the services and infrastructure we need and that is underpinned by the values we on this side hold dear—the values that provide everyone the opportunity to reach their potential. This is a Labor budget that puts Canberrans first.

This budget sees the largest amount of spending in health care in ACT history. Despite cuts from the commonwealth government, this ACT Labor government is continuing to invest in health services for Canberra. It is continuing to increase acute services at Calvary and Canberra hospitals, providing 16 extra beds and more medical staff to treat patients. More women’s and children’s health services are being provided, along with more elective surgery, and improvements in palliative care and mental health services.

The budget continues to invest in health services that meet patients’ needs in many ways, through the provision of preventive and local community health centres like the Gungahlin Community Health Centre, which provides a range of services, including maternal and child health, diabetes and mental health services to the local community. As Minister Corbell noted, this budget invests in the first dedicated mental health team at Gungahlin. In the discussion of budgets, detail can often get ignored. Take a moment to think about what this investment will mean for the lives of people in the local area.

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