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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3053..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

This is the same opposition that of course criticised the government for seeking radiologists from Sydney. So they can't have it both ways.

I want to place on the record that the minister is wrong in his statement, as neither I, nor any member of the opposition, have ever criticised the government for seeking radiologists from Sydney as part of recruiting more radiologists to work in the ACT.

I believe that the minister has deliberately confused statements I made about my concerns about sending X-rays interstate for reading because there is a lack of radiologists in the ACT. When I made this statement I questioned how long the government would send X-rays interstate and when it would get its own house in order to ensure that they could be read locally so as to ensure that results were not delayed any longer than necessary. I would like to table the press release that I issued at the time that says this. I seek leave to table that document, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: I table the following paper:

Breast screening-Copy of media release by Mr Brendan Smyth MLA, dated Sunday, 17 April 2005.

Mr Speaker, these comments that I made are very different from the minister's claim this morning that I criticised the government for seeking radiologists from Sydney. The minister's claims on the radio this morning were wrong.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo-Minister for Health and Minister for Planning): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the matter raised by Mr Smyth.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: Mr Smyth cannot have it both ways. Mr Smyth cannot criticise the government for sending breast screens to Sydney to be read but then say that is not criticism of recruiting radiologists in Sydney to read the screens. It is a contradictory position from Mr Smyth. He cannot criticise the government for recruiting radiologists in Sydney to read the breast screen but then say, "Oh no, that is not our criticism. Our criticism is sending the screens to Sydney to be read."He simply cannot have it both ways.

This is the opportunistic and contradictory approach we get time and again from Mr Smyth. We get twist and turn all the time: "Oh no, I am not criticising that. I am criticising this instead."Mr Speaker, he cannot have it both ways. What is wrong with making sure that women get their breast screens read on time? What is wrong with that? Who cares whether the radiologist is in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Hong Kong? As long as they are qualified, as long as they can read the screen, and as long as the woman involved gets her results in a timely way, what is the problem?


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