Page 155 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 February 2016

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Mr Hanson: And just as a point of clarification, the answer to that was not provided in the minister’s statement yesterday.

MADAM SPEAKER: I do not know whether it was. It certainly has not been provided so far in the minister’s answer to this question. Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I have been very clear that the levels of performance are not at the level they need to be. I have been very clear about that. But I have also been very clear about what we are doing to fix it. The point I make is that if those opposite were as concerned about this matter as they would appear to be today, perhaps they might have engaged in a substantive discussion about the steps that need to be taken to address it. This government is taking those steps. Three hundred more Canberrans and other residents have received the elective surgery they need because of this government’s reforms. We are putting in place sustainable measures to make sure this is an ongoing level of performance that can be sustained and delivered so that we drive down these discrepancies. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, when will you scrap light rail so that funds can be spent as the community expects fixing the health system where such funds are needed?

MR CORBELL: Over the life of the light rail contract we are talking about expenditure in the ACT government budget in terms of total expenditures of less than one per cent. Over the same period of time we will spend 35 times more on health services, based on current levels of expenditure, than we will ever spend on light rail.

Those opposite can make whatever claims they like about this matter but those are the statistics when it comes to expenditure in health service delivery. Unlike the Liberal Party at a federal level and locally that seem prepared to cut $600 million out of grants to the ACT for healthcare services, we are genuinely interested in improving the delivery of healthcare services. We are genuinely committed to making sure we build the infrastructure and improve the access and timeliness that is needed. Those opposite are only interested in cutting health funding and impacting on our public hospitals, and we will be holding you to account for the position of your federal colleagues and your endorsement of them.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, you are on a warning.

Economy—higher education

MS BURCH: My question is to the minister for higher education. I ask the minister to provide the Assembly with an update on the importance of higher education and vocational education and training to the ACT economy.

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