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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 2 Hansard (25 February) . . Page.. 400..

Ambulance Service

MR BERRY: My question is to Mr Humphries in his capacity as Minister for Emergency Services. I refer to a media statement, Minister, issued from your office, dated 24 February 1997 and titled "Ambulance crewing and response to be reviewed". In your statement, you claim that you have ordered a review into the operation of the Ambulance Service. I am reminded of the last time this Minister had a review into one of his bungles. That resulted in the head of the Health Department being made a scapegoat. You might recall that bungle, Mr Humphries. Minister, will you give a guarantee that this review will not become a witch-hunt in order to put the blame on Emergency Services Bureau staff? What I am asking is this: Will you give a guarantee that nobody will be necked because of your blunder, or can we expect to see an article in the Canberra Times in which the head of Emergency Services or perhaps the superintendent of the Ambulance Service is forced to publicly defend himself, as was the case with the chief executive officer of ACTION?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Humphries, all I can suggest is that some of that question was obviously hypothetical.

MR HUMPHRIES: I think it was too, Mr Speaker. It is a bit rich being lectured by Mr VITAB on blunders. Let me say that the review will be appropriate and thorough and will apportion blame, if any has to be apportioned, where blame is due.

MR BERRY: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Minister, can you confirm that this is another example of general Government policy to set up inquiries to blame public servants for the failure of the Government? For how long will you continue to duckshove the problems instead of fixing them?

MR SPEAKER: The supplementary question is out of order. It is hypothetical.

Mr Whitecross: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I do not expect you to address this point of order now. I ask you to consult the Clerk and maybe come back to the Assembly with your definition of the word "hypothetical", which clearly does not fit with the definition I learnt at school.

MR SPEAKER: I would be happy to.

Kingston Foreshore Development - Design Competition

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. In January this year, Minister, you launched the competition of ideas for the Interim Kingston Foreshore Development Authority. Given that a number of members of this parliament, notably those on the Opposition benches, have openly claimed that there would be very little interest in the Kingston foreshore project, can you inform the Assembly of what the response has been to the design competition?

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