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Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Page: 6199


Ms ROXON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (5:37 PM) —I thank the member for Herbert for that question. He, his electorate and his community have been among the big winners from the health budget, with a massive investment in Townsville Hospital and the future development there. When I was in Herbert to make that announcement, I had a look at the hospital, and the member for Herbert and I jointly signed the new contract for the GP superclinic, the building of which will commence very soon. I think the member for Herbert was the witness for the signing of that contract, and it was good to have the support. It is going to be a benefit in the community.

The member for Herbert raised with me an additional issue about a PET scanner for Townsville, and I am happy for my department to continue to have discussions and look at that. But we are talking about investments that were made in this budget, and this is not an announcement that was made in this budget. Of course, there will be an opportunity in the future to look at a way that it can be provided. I know that the member for Herbert is pleased about the very significant investments that have been made in his electorate, and we are certainly happy to continue to talk with him. I think he might have slightly verballed me when he thanked me for my support for the PET scanner, because a decision has not been made by the government. But we are happy to work with the member for Herbert, as we are with all members, if there are needs in particular communities. But they will get assessed according to the normal procedures and it is not a commitment from this budget, although there are some very significant budget commitments in the member for Herbert’s electorate.