Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 364..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
emergency departments, improved day surgery admission rates so people come in on the day of their surgery and do not take up beds overnight when waiting for surgery, or issues around the access improvement program and identifying improved work practices-are making a significant difference and it is showing up in the figures. They are showing up in reduced access block at our public hospitals and at the Canberra Hospital in particular, which is down from 45 per cent to 27 per cent. I think the community can have far more confidence in a government that takes a comprehensive and informed approach than in an opposition which always resorts to the crisis call, which always resorts to the panic stations that we hear of and always resorts to the simplistic notion which the Australian Journal of Medicine itself says simply will not work.
MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Over the weekend of 25 and 26 February there were a number of serious bashings at the Canberra show and also at a private party in Campbell by the same gangs of north-side teenagers involved in earlier acts of intimidation over the summer. According to witnesses, in all cases there has been a reluctance by police to follow up. Minister, can you explain why the police have been forced to give such a low priority to reports of serious assaults?
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I pass my on condolences to Mr Stefaniak, who clearly has the same affliction as Mr Pratt: digging into little bits and pieces here and little bits of pieces there, trolling through the garbage bins of history trying to find some little morsel of criticism of our police force. From what I have seen in this place, I thought Mr Stefaniak had hitherto been a supporter of the police. Alas, I am sorry to say that I was wrong. I can see now that this is merely an opportunity for Mr Stefaniak to keep at bay the pretender to the position of Deputy Leader of the Opposition. He is trying to keep Mr Pratt out of leadership contention. Well, good on him. I sit in this place and sometimes marvel at the heights of incompetence and ignorance that those opposite aspire to. They climb the ladder of incompetence and in the end their Valhalla is complete and utter incompetence. And good on them.
MR SPEAKER: Order! There has been a range of interjections. Minister, come to the point of the question.
MR HARGREAVES: Okay, Mr Speaker. The truth of the matter-and those opposite have heard this said in this place before-is that the police have a particular approach to major events management. Mr Stefaniak knows only too well that in fact they put on additional policing to make sure that certain major events are covered. We may remember their presence at Summernats when-guess what, Mr Gentleman-quite a number of Rebels turned up. In fact, it was the presence of the police at that major event which I am sure contributed to the peace and the wonderful event that Summernats was. There will always be an opportunity at the Canberra show for some malcontents to exercise their indulgences. Unlike those opposite, I have every confidence that the police take events such as the Canberra show particularly seriously.