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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 1895..

MRS BURKE (continuing):

I am glad to see the Minister for Health in the chamber this evening because during question time yesterday Ms MacDonald put a question to the health minister which in part raised the issues that I had raised regarding health plans. In her answer Ms Gallagher said:

But ensuring our commitment to quality and service does not end there. It is important that we plan for the future, which is why I recently launched access health, a plan that will help guide us in our planning for the future. Access health is the second ACT government health plan.

I remember the health minister being very vehement across the chamber, to which I objected, "You have that wrong."Ms Gallagher said, "No, Mrs Burke, you get everything wrong."You then warned me, Mr Speaker. Ms Gallagher said:

You did get on the radio and say this is the sixth or seventh plan, but nobody takes it to the next level. Can you name them all, Mrs Burke? There are none. There are two plans, the health action plan, which was done when the Chief Minister was Minister for Health, and now there is the access health plan.

What rubbish is that! A cursory examination of what has occurred over the past two years shows that, in addition to the child obesity plan, which is something I would talk about in a different way, and bearing in mind, as I said, that over six years we have had three health ministers, there have been many plans.

In November 2005, there was the ACT suicide prevention strategy; in March 2006, the ACT Health access improvement program; in May 2006, the ACT Council for Nurses and Midwives strategic directions; in May 2007, the ACT Health workforce plan; in July 2006, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and family wellbeing plan; in September 2006, the ACT action plan for mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention; in October 2006, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander palliative care plan; in April 2007, the ACT Health cultural respect implementation plan; in June 2007, details of plans to reduce tobacco consumption; in August 2007, the ACT palliative care strategy; and in August 2007, the access health plan. There have even been plans for senior health managers to speak with doctors about improving the management of surgical activities.

I have nothing personal against the health minister, but I wish she would get her facts right and read my media releases when they are put out. As I said—and I will repeat it—in six years of the Stanhope government we have had three health ministers and now we are onto our sixth, or is it seventh, health reform plan, and the Stanhope government is still unable to improve the health system. I rest my case.

Australian Capital Territory—public holidays

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.56): I would like to use my speech in the adjournment debate this evening to comment on the government's proposal to replace Union Picnic Day with a public holiday on Melbourne Cup Day.

Members interjecting—

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