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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3668..


Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

Health system

Debate resumed.

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (5.14): It is childish in the extreme that you did not want to allow me to close the debate. I thought you were going to stand up, Mr Mulcahy--

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Ms MacDonald, address your comments through the chair.

Mrs Burke: Just close the debate. Just do it.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order on the opposition benches! Ms MacDonald, a ruling was made which allows you to speak. If you want to close the debate--

MS MacDONALD: No, it was a vote. It was not a ruling. It was not your ruling, Mr Deputy Speaker. It was the fact that you closed the debate so fast--

MR SPEAKER: The motion was that standing orders be suspended. The vote was carried. You have got your way. You now have the option to close the debate. Please close the debate or sit down.

MS MacDONALD: Thank you. It is normal in these motions to thank members for their contributions to the debate. Apart from the comments of the minister, Mrs Burke was the only person from the opposition side to speak. I appreciate that we have just had debate on Mrs Burke's bill, but I would have to say that Mrs Burke's argument was all meringue. There was absolutely no substance to her argument at all. It was 15 minutes of drivel, 15 minutes of absolutely nothing.

Mrs Burke said that government members are in denial. I suggest that it is Mrs Burke who is, in fact, in denial. Mrs Burke, I presented the facts. It is a pity that you seemed to be incapable of addressing the facts that I raised. Mrs Burke claims that there are systemic issues within the ACT hospital system and the ACT Health system, yet she provided not one shred of evidence with regard to her accusations.

With regard to OMFS issues, I believe that the minister has on many, many occasions addressed the accusations that Mrs Burke has made. She also made the comment that nobody would stand up in this place and denigrate the health workforce and that it was outrageous that it was being suggested by the minister and members of the government that she was pulling down doctors and nurses. Well, Mrs Burke, by continuing to put out these claims, you are alienating the health workforce. That is what you are doing. You are alienating the health workforce. As the minister has pointed out on several occasions--

Mr Mulcahy: I raise a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Ms MacDonald persists in running her comments directly to my colleague Mrs Burke. I think that if she has got a


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