Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 August 2017) . . Page.. 2358 ..
It is the case that I was a member of cabinet but not the responsible minister when the cabinet made the very important decision to act on that report well over 12 months ago. I want to be really clear that the government did the right thing and acted on the findings of this report over 12 months ago.
MRS DUNNE: Minister, when you first saw the AECOM report, what was the highest priority for government to address?
MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mrs Dunne for the follow-up. As I also indicated in my remarks earlier today regarding your motion, there were four high priorities in the AECOM report, and those four highest priority items were funded in last year’s budget initiative. One has been completed; one has had proactive maintenance and been downgraded in its risk rating; another is expected to be completed in the next couple of months; and the final one, the electrical switchboard, has been the subject of much discussion and was the subject of an extensive ministerial statement I gave in this place in May this year.
MR WALL: Minister, what did you do as a member of cabinet to advocate for the priorities highlighted in the AECOM report when it first came before cabinet?
MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mr Wall for the follow-up question. I did what all members of cabinet did: I supported the budget initiative—which was in last year’s budget—which funded the priority actions from that report. Again, I would like to be very clear that this report informed last year’s budget initiative to upgrade and maintain ACT Health infrastructure.
I did what every member of cabinet did, and that was to well and truly support the highest priority items. In fact I believe—and I will correct the record if I am not correct—that there were 149 items identified in the AECOM report that last year’s budget initiative addresses. Every member of the cabinet was very clear that we needed to respond to the highest priority items identified in the AECOM report. That is exactly why the government took the decision in last year’s budget to fund the upgrades to health infrastructure. If the opposition have only recently discovered that the government made a nearly $100 million commitment to upgrading health infrastructure, then that is something for them to reflect on.
MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the minister for housing and relates to women, children and men experiencing homelessness. Minister, yet again in the media today we heard about people sleeping in cars. This was based on the information from the organisers of Safe Shelter for homeless men. What advice does government and its funded provider, OneLink, give to homeless people, particularly women with or without children who are sleeping in cars?