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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3704..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

a slanging match with the coroner; I will respect the court. But I do not accept her criticism.

Bushfires-warnings

MR PRATT: My question is to the Chief Minister. At 7.15 pm on the evening of Friday, 17 January 2003, Mike Castle, the head of the ESB, tried to give you a call. On that evening, all three of the bushfires had broken containment lines and were racing towards Canberra suburbs. The Bull's Head station had to be evacuated because it was under threat. Mr Castle and Mr Lucas-Smith had warned you the previous day that there was a 40 per cent to 60 per cent chance of a declaration of a state of emergency. On that evening, you were also acting as Minister for Police and Emergency Services. The call from Mr Castle was clearly a most important and urgent call, yet you did not take it or call him back. Why were you not in a position to take Mr Castle's phone call on 17 January 2003 at 7.15 p.m.? Why did you not return his call later that evening?

MR STANHOPE: I was not aware of the call.

MR PRATT: I ask a supplementary question. What exactly were you doing on the night of 17 January 2003 somewhere in north Canberra that had greater priority than receiving urgent information about the bushfires that would threaten suburban Canberra? Why did you place personal activities ahead of doing your duty as acting minister and Chief Minister on that fateful night?

MR STANHOPE: I did not.

Canberra Hospital

MS DUNDAS: My question is to the Acting Minister for Health. I understand that until recently the Canberra Hospital had a dedicated ward for adolescents. I have been informed that this ward has now closed. Minister, can you tell me why this adolescent-specific ward has been closed?

MR WOOD: I do not have the detail as to why. I will get back to you on that question.

MS DUNDAS: I have a supplementary question. Minister, are adolescents who are admitted to the hospital managed differently from adult patients? Are efforts made to allocate nearby or shared rooms to them so that adolescents are able to work through their health issues together, separate from the adult population in the hospital?

MR WOOD: I will incorporate the answer to that in my reply to you.

Child protection

MRS BURKE: My question is to the minister for education, youth and family support. Gwenn Murray states at page V of the foreword of the July 2004 audit and case review report:


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