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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2442..


MR WOOD (continuing):

integrated accommodation for people with mental illness, four units in the facility that we have been talking about will be reserved for people with mental health conditions who have relatively low support needs. Those units will be owned by the ACT government and run as a community housing project, with management being tendered to one of our community organisations.

Hospital waiting lists

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. In the lead-up to the election, Minister, you said that the hospital needs an extra 7 per cent of growth to cope with increasing demand. We have seen today that there is increasing demand on waiting lists, going up by nearly 400 over the last year. In estimates, your officials said that the growth funding required was 21/2 per cent. You told the Estimates Committee that you would check your sources to see which figure was correct. After three weeks, the Estimates Committee having been dissolved, you have not got back to us, so have you checked and can you enlighten members on which figure is correct, a 7 per cent growth or a 21/2 per cent growth?

MR STANHOPE: I am more than happy to look at the transcript of the Estimates Committee to see what the discussion was, Mrs Dunne. I have to say that at this minute I do not recall the conversation-

Mrs Dunne: Three weeks ago.

MR STANHOPE: When the Liberal Party starts mouthing numbers at me, the first thing I do is check them. I am not taking as gospel anything you say about anything. If you say something to me, it is more than likely not to be true. We have got Brendan Smyth spending $7 million worth of forgone revenue. Brendan Smyth's answer to the waiting time lists is to spend money that does not exist.

Mr Smyth: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Yet again, the Chief Minister says something that is not true. I have another quote here from the estimates. It says, "I think the approximate figure is about $7 million for that development." I quote back to him his own answer.

MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order, Mr Smyth.

MR STANHOPE: Of course I am more than happy to look at the transcript and of course I am more than happy to take the question on notice, Mr Speaker.

MRS DUNNE: At least he was brief in not answering the question, Mr Speaker. I do have a supplementary question. Minister, do you admit that your election policy was poorly advised and contained glaring inaccuracies which you now want to cover up and that, in doing so, you have misled the people of the ACT, or that your officials were unaware of the true state of growth of the ACT hospitals?

MR STANHOPE: I certainly do not admit that our election documents were poorly prepared. They had quite a devastating effect. They produced a 16 per cent swing against the Liberal Party. But, then again, you did do most of that to yourselves, as I reflect on it. You did do most of that to yourselves just through your sheer incompetence and the fact


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