Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3250 ..
We will provide better health services for women and young people by investing in the expansion of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, more maternity beds and more paediatric high dependency unit beds, and by introducing new services, including the new paediatric intensive care treatment space, an adolescent gynaecology service and a child/adolescent sleep lab. That will help to meet the growing needs of the community and its demand for maternity services. We are also investing in a new hospital building in the surgical procedures interventional radiology and emergency centre at the Canberra Hospital to ensure that we can continue to provide quality health care on the south side as our population continues to grow.
We are also building new nurse-led walk-in centres, through an investment of $14 million over five years. As part of the 10-year health plan, we are looking to build a new nurse-led walk-in centre for the Weston Creek region. As Mr Pettersson mentioned yesterday, the centres are an extremely popular part of the government’s health service provision and help to reduce pressure on primary healthcare providers and keep people out of hospitals by providing immediate and effective care, delivering fast and accessible advice and treatment for minor illness and injuries at no cost. The Liberals outright opposed these measures. Given the questions today around waiting times, I find it extraordinary that they continue not to support the walk-in centres.
Also, they do not support light rail. Our government has brought forward our light rail plan to address the growing needs of our city in terms of transport infrastructure. With more people wanting to call Canberra home from across Australia, it is a responsibility for us to actually deliver quality public transport options and an integrated transport system—I spoke about that last week in this place—and, in particular, integrating our first mass transit system in light rail with other transport modes, including more rapid buses. This is important to reduce congestion, but also in making Canberra a more livable city, with more people living close to public transport, providing regeneration opportunities along the route. Woden in particular is in need of regeneration and of more people living and working in it. Its population has been fairly static over the past five years.
Last week, I reminded Mr Coe that we cannot live with the bus system of the 1980s, when Canberra was almost half the size that we are now. It was just over 240,000 back in 1980. We need to invest in new infrastructure when it comes to transport. The ACT Labor government went to the last election with a positive plan to renew our schools, hospitals, transport infrastructure and neighbourhoods to meet the needs of our growing city. In government, we are enacting these forward-looking policies and investing in new infrastructure. I commend Mr Pettersson’s motion to the Assembly.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (3.56): I rise today to support Ms Le Couteur’s amendments. Ms Le Couteur has made some very important points in the context of the issue raised by Mr Pettersson about population growth in the territory. I think her central premise contained in new paragraph (1)(e) that she proposes in her