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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 1715..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

constituents. Not so, Mr Speaker. I have tabled a letter. I can also table my response to Mr Pratt, which indicates that I required extra information because it was a serious issue—full stop. His assertion is not true at all. If the members so desire, I am very happy to table that letter later today.

Indeed, since that day—which was not all that long ago—I have received correspondence from Mr Pratt. And would you believe it, Mr Speaker: I have responded. I will say this: once he got sprung for actually leading people to certain conclusions, all of a sudden the avalanche of correspondence to my office dried up.

MR PRATT: I have a supplementary question. Minister, why don't you resign for your repeated breaches of the code of conduct and save the Chief Minister the embarrassment of having to sack you?

MR HARGREAVES: I do not think Mr Pratt heard my response to his first question, because he has had his assertions debunked. He does not have a case. What we are seeing here, I am afraid to say, is hysteria instead of substance. In fact, there may be some relevance to the article by Graham Downie in yesterday's Canberra Times. I had so much fun reading it. It mentioned those three people who are tired; they are past their use-by date. Maybe this is just a matter of Mr Pratt saying: "Well, I can't do anything about the substance of the estimates, so I'll have a go at the man. I'll take Johnno out of the game."Perhaps that is what it is. I had not realised that Mr Pratt had these sorts of sensitivities, but I will expect them from here on.

If you have a very good look at the transcripts of the estimates committee, you will find that the actual questions asked on budgetary issues were lacking quite substantially. In fact, there was one department which came forth and was questioned, but not one question related to the budget—not one.

Mr Gentleman: Some of mine did.

MR HARGREAVES: I beg your pardon, Mr Gentleman, with the exception of yours. The opposition asked not one question on the budget. When you look at the actual questions that were asked of me in these hearings, you will find that we talked about the Point Hutt Crossing road sign—a very important road safety issue, I recognise. It is also the subject of questions on notice and questions asked in here. But one should have a good look at the actual questions asked. One will see that they lacked substance and any real degree of research. Quite frankly, Mr Pratt, as a visitor to the estimates committee, did not do himself, the committee or this Assembly any favours by attending.

Hospitals—performance

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Deputy Chief Minister in her capacity as Minister for Health. Minister, could you please update the Assembly on the level of demand being experienced through the health system over the past year, particularly during the recent winter months?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. I am sure that all of us here are aware of the increasing pressures that are being experienced across health


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