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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 August 2017) . . Page.. 2679 ..

season, because it helps to protect individuals and the community as a whole. The presence—

Mrs Jones: A point of order.

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: A point of order.

Mrs Jones: Can we please stop the clock?

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: Can we stop the clock, please?

Mrs Jones: It is on relevance. The question was about backup plans at the hospital, not advice to people to get flu shots.

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: Standing order 118(a) asks that the minister be concise and directly relevant to the subject matter of the question. The question was, as I have noted, about backup plans at the hospital. So could I ask the minister to be directly relevant.

MS FITZHARRIS: Madam Acting Speaker, I note that, by the time the point of order was called, I was 27 seconds into my two-minute response. I indicated in the first part of my answer that Canberra Hospital, and indeed ACT Health, have a number of backup plans to assist with high levels of presentations during the winter season. Those include public health messages, which I will say very clearly are very important.

The backup plans at the hospital also go to increased staffing and to monitoring what else is happening in the rest of the hospital. We will, in the near future, also commence some information and community awareness activities, encouraging people to see their GP or attend a nurse walk-in centre early, if they feel that they are suffering from a cold or flu that could potentially get worse. Of course, we will also let people know that there is an emergency department on the north side, at Calvary; and, for a number of New South Wales residents, we would encourage them to use the very well-equipped Queanbeyan emergency department.

Government—procurement policies

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Minister, I have been contacted by the owner of Capital Medical Supplies, a supplier of medical products to ACT Health, amongst other organisations, which employs 10 staff and has been operational in the ACT for over 40 years. This business has been advised by the ACT government that they have decided to purchase from manufacturers directly as opposed to using local supply agents. Minister, why has the government taken this decision, given, as I have been informed, that there is no apparent cost saving by doing so?

MR BARR: I will need to check the assertions made by the member opposite. I will take the question on notice.

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