Paul Fletcher MP

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When it comes to the use of communications networks there is inevitably a balance to be struck between the convenience of being accessible to all—being able to call anybody that you like and equally being available to be called by anybody you like—and the issues that that involves in terms of exposing yourself to being available to be called by those who you may not wish to hear from.

I rise to address the issue of value for money in Commonwealth procurement, particularly in the area of education. I refer to the specific case of the Gordon East primary school. I asked a question about this of Minister Gillard in the House yesterday and I was brushed off with the standard answer that when the government looks into these issues it usually finds that the opposition has got it wrong in some way and in fact the quote that we are comparing the actual cost of the BER funded project with is a quote that has been done on a different basis. The very distinctive thing about the case I mentioned yesterday in my question is that when I was talking about the comparator in the experience of Gordon East primary school, I was talking about actual spending in the last five years. The Gordon East primary school built a 180-square metre large special learning room for a total cost of $170,000. That comes to $920 a square metre. In contrast, the block which is presently being built at Gordon East primary school under Building the Education Revolution will cost, together with a little bit of work in the administration area, $2 million. When you do the maths, as I pointed out to the minister in my question yesterday, that produces a cost per square metre of $4,870, roughly five times as much as was paid by the school in 2005.

Paul Fletcher spoke in Federal Parliament yesterday to demand a fair go for Hornsby Hospital - the major public hospital in Bradfield.

Mr Fletcher told the Parliament that the hospital has fine medical staff who work in difficult circumstances because much of the hospital is in very poor condition.

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I rise to speak on the topic of Hornsby hospital, which is the major public hospital in the electorate of Bradfield. It is a hospital in which fine medical staff work in very difficult circumstances. Much of the hospital is in very poor physical condition and frankly needs to be replaced in a wholesale fashion. Regrettably that has not happened, with the exception of one specific facility covering paediatrics, obstetrics and emergency. But the remainder of the hospital is an extremely poor condition. I recently had an opportunity to visit the hospital and I was shocked to see the dilapidated condition of many of the operating theatres and that the hallways, which run from the theatres back to the wards, are open to the elements and that the wards are in extremely basic condition. So poor is the physical condition of the hospital that the medical staff are conducting a campaign calling on the New South Wales government to urgently fund improvements to the facilities there. Just 2½ weeks ago I was with the chair of the medical staff council, Dr Richard Harris, in Hornsby Mall gathering signatures for a petition. That petition will be presented in this parliament, and I hope to be able to do that in coming weeks.

I rise today to mark the passing of Mr Arshag Badelian, who was one of the Armenian-Australian community’s last living survivors of the Armenian genocide. Having arrived in Australia in 1980, he died just a couple of weeks ago, aged 100.

I rise to speak in this House for the second time, and on this occasion I am conscious that I no longer have the privilege against interjection which I enjoyed the first time I spoke. But I rise to speak as the member for Bradfield because, as a number of people have already pointed out in this debate, one of the provisions in the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Close of Rolls and Other Measures) Bill 2010 was triggered by events which occurred in the Bradfield by-election on 5 December 2009. That is a date that will be burned into my memory for the rest of my lifetime. It was a day of great celebration for me personally and for all of the people who worked so hard to assist me in the very successful result that the Liberal Party was able to secure in the Bradfield by-election—notwithstanding the complications which arose by virtue of the fact that there were 22 candidates.

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Authorised by Paul Fletcher MP, Level 2, 280 Pacific Highway Lindfield NSW 2070.

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