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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3129..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

As I advised the Assembly earlier this week, the matters relate to effectively a demarcation dispute between the two surgical specialties on roles and responsibilities for different types of procedures within our health sector. We are working constructively and taking a leadership role in trying to bring those surgical specialties to a consensus and to facilitate that consensus on the appropriate role that each surgical specialty will perform. Until we have reached that agreement, it is not possible to simply impose a solution from above. I have said that previously and I reiterate it again today.

The time frame Mrs Burke seeks is not a time frame that I can give any indication on, simply because we need the agreement of those surgical specialties. What I can assure the Assembly of is that we are seeking to reach that agreement as soon as possible.

Budget

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in your media statement of 2 October 2007 you spoke of further expenditures "on top of those announced in the budget, particularly in response to work that had not yet been concluded by budget day". During the budget process—and I include the introduction of the appropriation bill, the estimates committee hearings, debate of the bill and your decision to shut down the debate—why did you not reveal that your government was actively considering further spending beyond that which was presented to the Assembly?

MR STANHOPE: The shadow Treasurer goes again to the issue of the debate on the budget being closed down.

Mr Corbell: Eighteen hours.

MR STANHOPE: Yes, there were 18 hours of debate on the budget. The great difficulty in the budget debate—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: It extended over three days. There was more time allowed for debate on this year's budget than, I think, ever before. It took longer. Of course the difficulty that the opposition faced in relation to the debate on the budget this year was that, because of the continuing simmering leadership tensions, every time the shadow Treasurer—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: Go back and look at the Hansards. Every time the shadow Treasurer, Mr Mulcahy, spoke to an item—and of course it was Mr Mulcahy's bill, Mr Mulcahy's responsibility—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: Just go through the 18 hours of debate. Mr Mulcahy would speak for his 20 minutes, his backside would barely manage to hit his seat before the most recently deposed leader Mr Smyth was on his feet, on the same subject—


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