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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2534..


MR WOOD: Adopt-a-road. Thank you. That is a problem. I can stand here and regretfully read out a very long list of organisations that are facing problems. Therefore, the government is facing problems because, as you correctly say, we depend very much on those groups.

What is being done? A great amount is being done. Mr Quinlan in particular is working assiduously, not just in this volunteer area but in a whole range of areas, to resolve as many of the issues as possible of the insurance problem.

Ms Tucker, I am sure you are going to get many other comments from bodies of a very similar nature. It has taken some time. It is a difficult task. There are lots of comments about it. One aspect Mr Quinlan was attending to, when he introduced a bill yesterday, was the good Samaritan aspect of the legislation. It is not directly the point you are making, but it nevertheless relates a great deal to what happens in Canberra.

Ms Tucker, it is a long and complex task, and this government is working on it. We want to keep those groups because they are essential to us; they do a vast amount of work. I hope we can find that solution soon enough.

MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. Minister, given that the ACT government set up its own insurance authority last year to cover the insurable risks of territory agencies, why can't park-care activities be covered directly by the government instead of Environment ACT offering to fund the Friends of Aranda Bushland to find its insurance cover?

MR WOOD: I will check with my colleague later. That is one of the options that may well be considered, but there are significant ramifications if we do that because our insurance costs would go up exponentially, Mr Quinlan. So, while it is a good idea, it is an idea we will have to examine further to see if it is within our capability to accept.

Hospital waiting lists

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question is for the Minister for Health. Minister, in an Estimates Committee, with regard to the waiting lists, you said, "Certainly there is going to be some pain. There is no doubt about that." Then yesterday you said you had taken a deliberate policy decision to allow waiting lists to go up, as Canberrans on the waiting lists have a lower priority than other Canberrans requiring health care assistance. Could you inform us exactly-

Mr Stanhope: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did not say that. That is an outright lie.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I think you should withdraw that.

MR SMYTH: I am not going to withdraw it, if he is offended by what I have said.

Mr Stanhope: I would like you to tell the truth. I did not use those words. I will withdraw the word "lie", but it would be good if you actually quoted me appropriately.


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