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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 September 2015) . . Page.. 3124 ..

built in Aranda. The ACT Labor government’s strong record of continual investment in our health system speaks for itself and is reflected in the ACT’s continuing improvements in health outcomes. In every budget we have assessed the community’s health needs, calibrated responses and made significant investments. I am proud to say that Belconnen residents will stand to greatly benefit from the ACT government’s strategic investment in health infrastructure and services.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (4.57): I note the contributions made by the Minister for Health Simon Corbell, Dr Bourke and Ms Porter to support this motion. I will also take some moments to briefly reflect upon the opposition leader’s speech and subsequent amendment, which we will not be supporting. This Labor government has made an extraordinary investment in health infrastructure and outcomes in our community. This Labor government, led by our health minister, Simon Corbell, is building on the work of our previous health minister, Katy Gallagher. As a government and as a community and policy leaders, Minister Gallagher and now Minister Corbell know deeply what our community need and what the health system needs to do to meet our community’s needs. We need to invest in staff, in services and in infrastructure. Minister Corbell understands the challenges and opportunities ahead. He understands the future, what it means to invest in the future. And he understands the needs of individuals, families, the vulnerable and those most in need in our community to provide health outcomes. This is what our Labor government has demonstrated through its drive for reform and through real investment in people and infrastructure.

I spoke about some of the major investments in the health infrastructure program—the ED expansion at Canberra Hospital, the paediatric stream in the ED, our community health centres, our walk-in centres, our Canberra region health centre and UCPH. Minister Corbell also spoke about these as well as outlining additional investments—the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, the bush healing farm and the adult mental health unit.

But, as usual, the opposition leader shows his leadership style—opposition for opposition’s sake, negativity and critique. That is all—nothing more. He happened to say earlier today to get used to the opposition making policy announcements. Well, not today and not, as I understand, in the last three years at least—certainly not in the last eight months—not one idea. But as the Minister for Health noted, the opposition leader’s capacity to be disingenuous knows no bounds. Again, more misrepresentations, taking every opportunity to spread misleading claims across our city!

What our community needs and what this government is delivering are contemporary places for care, for patients and for their families, for our health staff, providing healthcare that can be delivered at the right time at the right place. What do some of these services provide? For example, new services, as the minister outlined, new community services in the Gungahlin region, for the first time a dedicated mental health service. In the Tuggeranong region, for the first time delivering dialysis close to where people live, delivering what they need.

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