Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2167..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
contracts entered into. Indeed, members will recall that the budget presently before the Assembly provides additional money for the Department of Treasury to permit closer scrutiny of those matters in respect of which in this instance Treasury was found to have had inadequate levels of monitoring.
I do not know why that ball was dropped in that way. My intention, as Chief Minister of this government, is to ensure that it is not allowed to happen again.
MR STANHOPE: I ask a supplementary question. Can the Chief Minister advise the Assembly which member of the government accepts personal or ministerial responsibility for the failings in relation to this matter, a failure that cost the ACT taxpayer at least $2 million? Has he sought any explanation of why, at the time we entered into this arrangement with the contractors, we had also consigned certain rights over marketing to the major hirers of the Bruce Stadium so that there were competing efforts to sell whatever product there was available to sell at Bruce Stadium?
MR HUMPHRIES: The latter question is a matter which the Auditor also draws attention to. Again quite properly, he draws attention to the fact that there appears to have been a problem with the structure of the contract, in that it was expected to have NVM marketing corporate products in respect of the stadium while identical products were being marketed by other people with an interest in the stadium under other contractual arrangements. Again, that is a matter questions need to be asked about, and I intend to ask those questions.
Yes, I take responsibility for putting action in train to deal with those problems. They are historical in one sense, in that already many of the things which the Auditor recommends in the report are being actioned by the government. Indeed, he specifically draws attention to steps that have been taken by the government and commends the direction which has been taken. I am encouraged by that, and I hope that that will be incentive for government and for public service to continue to drive that process forward.
Canberra Hospital-surgical waiting lists
MR HIRD: My question is to Mr Moore in his capacity as health minister. Minister, have you been able to do anything in respect of the surgical waiting list. If so, can you inform the parliament of the outcomes?
MR MOORE: I am very pleased to take this question. Of course, the broad answer is in terms of waiting lists, but we distinguish between waiting lists and waiting times.
The waiting list is steady at just above the 4,000 mark and is coming down at bit. But that is not the critical issue. The critical issue is one of waiting times and the waits have been coming down. But waiting lists are also very good at the moment. You will remember that we have category 1, 2 and 3 patients. Category 1 patients are the urgent patients, category 2 are the semi-urgent patients and category 3 are the non-urgent patients. We try to complete category 1 patients within 30 days. The hospital has reported that for five out of the last six months no patients on the category 1 list waited longer than the required 30 days. In fact, the average has been close enough to 15 days. The hospital is to be congratulated for the fact that the people who have been most urgently in need of surgery have, with one exception, been able to have that surgery done