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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 4188..


MS DUNDAS (continuing):

I am glad to see that the government has finally agreed to the establishment of a commissioner for children and young people, and I look forward to being involved in that consultation process to get the model right for the ACT. But the government's recognition of the need for such a body in the territory was a long time coming.

I could go on at length to talk about a whole range of issues. Domestic bore water licences is one that has come up again and again. Whilst we were working under the impression that bore licences would no longer be granted, they are still being issued and that does have impacts on our groundwater. I think this puts into question why we have water restrictions in the first place.

They are just a few things that concern me. I, like other members in this place, could go on at length but I do not think that would contribute to the work that we as an Assembly need to be doing. There is much more work to be done in every area that the government and this Assembly have to face. I for one, and the Democrats overall, will continue to put forward fresh ideas. We will work with whoever is in this Assembly and I will continue to put relevant criticism and comments forward in the name of better outcomes for the entire community.

I do not see what motions like this add to the work of the Assembly, to the precious time that we have in this place. So whether or not this motion is passed, I do not think we will have achieved anything by having this debate, except for allowing everybody to put forward their vision of the campaign that will take place over the next weeks leading up to the election.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (5.46), in reply: Mr Speaker, there is so much to get through in so little time in my summary of this debate. I think I will start with Mr Corbell and his use of figures again. Mr Corbell was recently censured for being a persistent misleader of the Assembly. He comes down here and he tries to create that impression again by using figures. He gets up and says, "We've done more surgery." Well, the minister knows the measure is cross-weighted separation, because that is what counts.

If you look at cross-weighted separations for the last four years you will see that 14,168 cross-weighted separations were achieved in our last budget in 2001-02. What did Mr Stanhope achieve in his first and only year as health minister? He achieved only 12,265 cross-weighted separations-a decline of almost 2,000. What happened in Mr Corbell's first year as the health minister? In April this year the figure went down to 12,035 cross-weighted separations. We are waiting for the end of year report but the end of year estimate is 14,475, which is basically where we had started three years earlier.

So, let us not be fooled; let us not use the figures that nobody talks about. When you come back to the standard, cross-weighted separations-and you know this as a former health minister, Mr Speaker-this government has failed.

MR SPEAKER: I spell it differently, though.

MR SMYTH: Sorry, Mr Speaker?


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