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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 7 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 1991..

MR MOORE (continuing):

surgeon. I will speak further on that after question time, without making a personal attack on him in the way he has done on others.

We already provide a huge amount of information on our public hospital system, much more than in any other community in Australia. We will continue to do this, and we will provide the highest possible level of information we can so that members of this Assembly and the public generally can understand the tremendous number of excellent things that are going on in the hospital.

Because you have mentioned the issue of morbidity and mortality, I would like to remind members that one of the first things I did as minister, in order to reduce the number of adverse incidents, was to appoint Miss Fiona Tito to look at adverse incidents at the hospital and to recommend to the hospital how we go about ensuring that we minimise adverse incidents-in other words, reduce morbidity and mortality. We did that and got a report, and we have moved on it. Mr Rayment, the hospital staff and I are absolutely committed to improving quality at the hospital. It is very disappointing when the reputation of the hospital is sullied by false allegations.

Budget Surplus

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer, Mr Humphries. Treasurer, I have heard members opposite criticise the ACT 2000-01 budget, saying the forecast surplus-and I would like to commend you for that-is built on the back of windfall gains from the Commonwealth. Is this the case or are there other reasons for the forecast surplus?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Hird for his question, Mr Speaker.

Mr Stanhope: The GST.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am very glad Mr Stanhope interjected, because one of the things I want to cover in this response-

Mr Stanhope: What, the GST?

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, indeed.

MR SPEAKER: That is not an encouragement to interject, Mr Stanhope.

MR HUMPHRIES: When a government brings down a budget, one of the primary political rules oppositions have had to deal with is that they need a simple handle or label they can use about the budget. They need quickly to get a message out there that there is something wrong with this document, if they can, and finding some particular line is a very important part of the budget process.

The fact that there has been such a mishmash of approaches on the appropriation bill and so little in the way of a consistently clear line from the opposition is proof that this budget does have the capacity to deliver what this community wants it to deliver. We have heard all sorts of lines. Every one of them has been abandoned after a certain period of time or at least modified.

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