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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1598..


MR HIRD (continuing):

Where is the praise for the commitment to reduce early childhood class sizes? Nowhere. I do not expect cheers from over there for any support for non-government schools, but support for better educational outcomes and a common program of literacy and numeracy assessments at each of these schools will be beneficial. (Extension of time granted.)

I thank members. By the way, I notice that some members have had three or four extensions. Indigenous health services are also supported. The youth connection family support program is provided with funding and will direct its services at the most at risk families in the territory. Mr Speaker, the programs go on and on. Programs under the innovation, addressing poverty and early intervention policies of the government will make the ACT an even better place for all of us to live.

There is one other item from the budget that I must admit I raised. However, this matter did not get a mention in the Quinlan report or select committee's report.

Mr Quinlan: You raised a matter? No you didn't.

MR HIRD: Listen, son, you will hear-

MR SPEAKER: Order please! Can we get on with this, please.

MR HIRD: Members will be aware that I am very concerned about how New South Wales has been using ACT medical services. Our medical services support another 300,000 people. Over a number of years we have been trying to get New South Wales to come to the party and make a contribution of some significance. I asked that question, Mr Quinlan, and you heard me do so. I am pleased to say that Dr Gregory and her staff-and the minister for health, Mr Moore, has been a driving force-have gained $17.1 million. This is money in the bank. That is not a bad effort. But is this mentioned in this report? No, it is not. The report should say, "We congratulate the minister for health." I do and this side of the house does. I think he has done a superb job. As he has said, he was given a poisoned chalice. But at least he has achieved quite a considerable amount during his term as minister.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.36 to 2.30 pm

Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital-funding

MR STANHOPE: My question is to the Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services. Budget papers show that some increased funding and a significant improvement in efficiency at the Canberra Hospital will result in an additional 1,500 to 2,000 separations this year-an increase, I understand, of roughly 7 per cent. Given this increase, can the minister explain why the government has chosen to ignore the rate of increase in elective surgery when funding the hospital for 2001-02? Will he confirm that


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