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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 219..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

performers and 1,500 delegates from across Australia and around the world. That conference was lauded as one of the most successful ever held by the International Society for Music Education, with many international educators commenting on the excellence of the School of Music and its facilities. Outcomes like this can be achieved with a bit of creative lateral thinking and I think the Chief Minister's round table could be a start of that process. I certainly wish him well with it, as does the opposition.

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra had a magnificent function over the long weekend, too, at Government House. You were there, Mr Speaker, and Mrs Dunne. I think Mr Gentleman might have been there. Certainly Ms MacDonald and Ms Porter were there. It was an excellent event which kept the crowd entertained with incredibly high performance acts. I must say that whilst possibly not quite as professional as all the high performance acts, the guest conductor for Bizet's Carmen: March of the Toreadors, none other than Tony Luchetti, formerly of Canberra Milk and the Canberra Labor Club, got into it with real gusto.

I know Tony more through his involvement with various sporting groups and hockey. For an amateur he was actually quite brilliant. Indeed, he even managed to slow down the tempo with his hands at one stage. Perhaps the orchestra was playing without regard to what Tony was doing, but he certainly conducted in a very spectacular way and the crowd loved every minute of it. When I see him I must pass that on to him. All in all, it was an excellent event at Government House and I think it just shows how important music is for the cultural scene in Canberra. It was a packed event, an absolutely packed event.

I wish the School of Music round table well. By looking at some of the things that have happened in the past and some of the things we could perhaps draw on, with a bit of lateral thinking we could really ensure that that school survives. It is a crucial part of our society here in Canberra and certainly a crucial part of our cultural scene.

Health—patient care

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (6.22): I wish to address comments made by the health minister today in question time with regard to a constituent who approached my office two weeks ago in an attempt to secure a consultation with a Canberra specialist. The minster asserted a number of things which were quite incorrect, complicit and completely arrogant and represent another pathetic attempt by the government to turn a serious issue into a piece of trivia.

My office has since contacted the constituent—James Macleod—and relayed the health minster's comments to him. As a result, a number of issues need to be addressed with regard to the provision of specialist services to public patients and, therefore, access to our public hospital system, if required.

For the benefit of the health minister and for members, let me again respectfully address the following issues. An Indigenous Canberran called my office in serious distress two weeks ago with a very genuine concern. James is a well educated individual, a victim of the stolen generation and holds a senior position in the federal Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination. Unfortunately James has received a preliminary diagnosis of multiple sclerosis from his GP.


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