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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 981..


Canberra Hospital-equipment

MR BERRY (5.41): This will take only a short time. I am happy Mr Moore is here. Twice before I have mentioned a constituent of mine who had a cast on her arm. I am not going to stop until I sort this. I am going to keep mentioning it. She had a high-tech cast on her arm that had to be removed because of some problem with it. She went to Accident and Emergency at the Canberra Hospital, where she had the high-tech cast removed. It was some sort of high-tech material. I have forgotten the name of it now. Once it was removed and the problem solved, the hospital was not able to put a high-tech cast back. They could only put a plaster one on.

My constituent was then forced to go to a private clinic to get a high-tech cast put on. I just cannot believe that our teaching hospital is not capable of putting Goretex, or whatever the material is, casts on patients who need care. I am still waiting to get an inkling out of the minister. I have not asked him a question, I know, but usually if you raise these things ministers at least give an inkling about what is going on. I am curious to know, and I intend to find out. I thought this might be a good avenue to raise the matter for the minister's interest and possibly his attention and some sort of a response.

Canberra National Multicultural Festival

MR WOOD (5.42): I will not accuse the minister for the arts of misleading the Assembly or the community, but I will certainly accuse him of obfuscation, because he has been marvellously vague, and deliberately so, in a media statement he put out today about festivals. The whole import of the media statement he put out, which I have in my hand and which I will table, would lead one to believe that there is to be a new body, a Festivals ACT. It refers to "a dedicated festivals office ... within the Office of Business, Tourism and the Arts". He does go on, as we now hear, to say that it will play a critical role in developing a festival strategy. But as people have read this statement today they have made the reasonable assumption that the Canberra National Multicultural Festival and other festivals will come out from under the control of CTEC.

In an answer to a question I asked today, Mr Smyth mumbled-I think the body language was very informative-that I should not assume that it was to come out from under CTEC. It is a fairly reasonable assumption that I made and others made upon reading this media statement. I would expect that in the future the multicultural festival will come out from under the control of CTEC.

I suspect the minister is doing more than staging a strategic withdrawal so he is not eating too much humble pie as a result of what I believe is a backflip. It seems clear to me that other pressure, perhaps that of the Chief Minister, once again has resulted in Mr Smyth having to withdraw from a stance that he has previously had. I see no reason why in a media statement Mr Smyth should not spell out loudly and clearly exactly what he wants to do. In this statement today he has failed to do that, and the community is left wondering exactly what he means.

Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table that document.

Leave granted.


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