Page 1990 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 7 June 2017
The government remains focused on delivering the core commitments that we took to the people of Canberra in October of last year, and we were resoundingly returned against the negative and carping opposition that we see on display yet again today.
MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, the budget shows that we will not see construction and completion of the surgical procedures, interventional radiology and emergency centre, or SPIRE, at the Canberra Hospital for five or six years, well into the next term of the Assembly. The city’s population is expected to grow by about 30,000 people in that time. What is your plan over the next five or six years to ease the pressure on facilities that are already over capacity and causing excessive waiting times and treatment delays?
MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mrs Dunne for the question and an opportunity to talk about the significant investments this Labor government is making in our health system. I note, of course, that we made a significant commitment to build the SPIRE centre at the Canberra Hospital. Of course, such a significant commitment requires significant and extensive planning. Our commitment was—
Mrs Dunne: It was already planned and you changed your mind.
MS FITZHARRIS: Well, the opposition may have chosen to take an outdated model to expand the Canberra Hospital as their own election commitment to last year’s election. They were unsuccessful in that, as they were unsuccessful in their model of mini non-hospitals in our regions, which were resoundingly questioned—
Mrs Dunne: Point of order, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: Minister, can you resume your seat? Stop the clock. Mrs Dunne on a point of order.
Mrs Dunne: The question was about how the minister is going to ease the pressure on facilities at the hospital over the next five or six years, not a riff on election commitments but looking forward over the next five or six years. The question was specifically, “What is your plan over the next five or six years to ease the pressure on facilities which are already over capacity?”
MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, Mrs Dunne. The minister has a minute to go, but I do not think there is a point of order that—
Mrs Dunne: The answer should be directly relevant.
MADAM SPEAKER: She is talking about investment, as you are well aware—