Page 2213 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 August 2015

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Mr Smyth: Don’t mislead.

MADAM SPEAKER: Withdraw, Mr Smyth.

Mr Smyth: I withdraw, Madam Speaker, but the minister cannot use a number—

MADAM SPEAKER: No, you just withdraw, Mr Smyth; don’t argue.

MR CORBELL: Those opposite are apologists for Tony Abbott’s job cuts, but we are not. We are interested in creating jobs in our city, through investment in essential health infrastructure that meets the needs of our community. Of course ACT Health is one of the biggest employers in the ACT, with more than 700 staff engaged in ACT Health, including around 5,000 alone at the Canberra Hospital, as well as hundreds of people working out of our community health centres in Tuggeranong, Phillip, Civic, Belconnen and Gungahlin. We also have the fantastic work of the dedicated maternal and child health nurses; there are 50 of those staff. This all supports jobs in our community. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, in regard to these infrastructure projects already underway, can you update the Assembly on their progress?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary. We are, of course, continuing to bring forward projects. Projects that are underway already include the $23 million emergency department expansion at the Canberra Hospital that will add a further thousand square metres and 21 extra emergency department beds. We are investing in smaller projects as well, such as the improvement of traffic calming measures in the Canberra Hospital multistorey car park. We are investing in major essential infrastructure upgrades, including the $16½ million upgrade of Hospital Road, on which work started yesterday. There is the replacement equipment for the medical imaging department at the Canberra Hospital—over $360,000 worth of investment—and an upgrade, similarly, to pharmacy dispensary at the Canberra Hospital. Work on the new building 15 at the Canberra Hospital is close to completion. This will house more than 250 additional staff. We also have the new car park at Calvary hospital, providing an extra 515 spaces for staff, patients and visitors.

All of these projects are important capital works and service delivery projects for ACT Health, but they are also employing Canberrans. That is critically important at a time when we have a federal government that continues to take the axe to our city. We have seen the downturn in consumer confidence; we have seen the downturn and impact on housing investment. We want to right that, and we will do everything we can as a Labor government to do that, including investing in better health services and in health infrastructure that delivers services we need and creates jobs in our city.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what infrastructure projects are in the pipeline, and how are they progressing?

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