Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 August 2016) . . Page.. 2688 ..
I have always said that looking after the mental wellbeing of Canberrans is one of my priority areas and I am particularly pleased to say that this budget will see a further investment of $50 million in new funding for better mental health services. As part of this we are providing targeted funding in acute and community health services that complement investment in new and improved mental health facilities.
This includes funding of over $43 million for 60 new health staff at the secure mental health unit; $3 million to establish a young people’s mental health treatment team for young people experiencing or at risk of developing serious mental illness; $2.7 million for two new beds and four new staff to expand our adult mental health; and a $1 million boost to services for community health services who are providing mental health and suicide prevention.
The government will also provide $7.9 million in 2016-17 for the opening of the secure mental health unit, growing to $11.6 million in its first year of operation. This new health facility, which will open later this year, represents an important addition to health service provision and will provide access to secure inpatient mental health care, treatment and support, meeting a vital gap in the health and criminal justice system.
The government is also delivering through this budget $108 million over four years to build better health infrastructure. This includes just over $100 million to upgrade and maintain health assets into the future; $2.4 million to build new accommodation; $3.4 million to operate support services for people with mental health concerns and to help them to recover in a community setting; $1 million to plan for and improve health information communication technology; and over $300,000 to start investigations for the options for a new city health centre.
These new capital allocations build on the investment this Labor government has made through our health infrastructure program, which has delivered such important projects as the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, the Canberra Region Cancer Centre, the Gungahlin, Belconnen and Tuggeranong community health centres, the new adult mental health unit and new building 15 at the Canberra Hospital.
This year we are also looking forward to the completion of a number of health infrastructure projects that are underway, including the expansion of the emergency department at Canberra Hospital, the new Ngunnawal bush healing farm and the new secure mental health unit. In 2018 we anticipate that the new University of Canberra public hospital will open its doors as a new purpose-built subacute facility. This will be an important third public hospital for the ACT. It will offer a range of rehabilitation services, support people in their recovery as well as provide targeted clinical services for older people and people with mental health concerns. It will focus on supporting people in an environment that is specifically designed for rehabilitation without the intense areas of surgery, an emergency department or an intensive care unit.
We all are aware there has been a horrible accident at the site of this project in the past week. The Chief Minister and the government as a whole have extended their