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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 September 2015) . . Page.. 3123 ..

This government’s budget wisely invests in the future of Canberra. I am especially proud of the investment in health infrastructure and services in Belconnen in my electorate. The investments this government has made in Belconnen serve the health needs of the faster growing areas of Canberra with the expansion of Belconnen in the west, infill in the Belconnen town centre, the new suburb of Lawson and the rapidly expanding population of Gungahlin. This budget is built on an in-depth understanding of our city, and it is in stark contrast to the last two budgets of Mr Turnbull’s Liberals, which did great harm to many Canberrans’ livelihoods.

In Belconnen this government is planning for the future with a new public hospital and an extensive upgrade to Calvary. Calvary hospital is Belconnen’s largest health facility, and the ACT government upgrades will give it the means to continue providing Belconnen and the north side with quality, modern hospital care. There is $12.4 million in Calvary upgrades, including $5.6 million for a complete refurbishment of the operating theatres, including new equipment; $3.1 million for development at Calvary to enable 12 new acute care beds; and $3.7 million for new imaging services, including a second CT scanner. This does not include the construction underway on the new five-storey Calvary car park, which will have over 700 parking spaces to absorb future demand.

All of this follows on from the work this government has done in establishing the Belconnen nurse-led walk-in centre in 2014, a part of the Belconnen Community Health Centre. The Belconnen nurse-led walk-in centre is proving very popular, and the Belconnen and Tuggeranong centres have been getting more clients than the Canberra Hospital service averaged.

The new University of Canberra public hospital will be a purpose-built subacute facility providing rehabilitation, aged care and mental health care services. It will have 140 inpatient beds and 75 day places. The government has chosen this model to meet the needs of a growing Belconnen and, indeed, a growing north side, keeping in mind what an ageing population means for healthcare. The provision of 400 parking spaces at the site will ensure easy public access. Its co-location with the University of Canberra campus will allow for new training and research opportunities. Construction will begin next year, and it dovetails into the University of Canberra’s vision for expansion and diversification of services.

The University of Canberra public hospital will become another major employer in north Canberra, and the capital works will maintain jobs in the construction industries. Along with working closely with staff and researchers based at the nearby Calvary hospital, patients will be able to move between the hospitals as their needs for different services require.

Lastly, I add that this government’s vision for better medical services in Belconnen is enhanced by the faster response times from the recently completed ambulance station at Charnwood and funding of the new $20.9 million ambulance and fire station being

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