QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: Aged Care. Ms McBRIDE (Dobell) (14:01): My question is to the Prime Minister. The aged-care minister has said about the closure of an aged-care home in my electorate, 'Decisions of this nature are a matter for the organisation's management,' and refused my community's requests for assistance. How can that be the government's position when it gave more than half a million dollars to an aged-care home in the member for Nicholls's electorate, a home which is now closed?
Mr HUNT (Flinders—Minister for Health and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Cabinet) (14:01): One of the things that we have done is to establish a Business Improvement Fund for aged-care facilities in rural and regional areas. That was announced in January. In particular, we have established that program precisely to address the issue of aged-care facilities in rural and regional areas—
Mr Bowen interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon!
Mr HUNT: that are facing pressures. So that is what we have done. That fund is there. That is available to people from all electorates—
The SPEAKER: The Minister for Health will resume his seat.
Ms Plibersek interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney will cease interjecting. The Minister for Health will resume his seat. The Manager of Opposition Business.
Mr Burke: Thanks. On direct relevance: the example that the member for Dobell is giving is of government money that has gone to a nursing home that is closed.
The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. The minister is being relevant to the question.
Mr Bowen interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon is about to be watching back in his office! The Minister for Health has the call.
Mr HUNT: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker; you gave me a moment of hope there! Directly, in relation to the member's question with regard to her facility, I'm not aware of the dates or the details, which were not provided. I'm happy to deal with them. But the Business Improvement Fund was announced in January.
In relation to the other facts put forward: they are incorrect, and I say that because the program of working with the administrator with regard to Murchison began last year and has been an ongoing program of working with the administrator, and it also has an independent contractor advising it.