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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (16 March) . . Page.. 867..

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Are there any plans to revitalise Latham by encouraging more mixed use in the commercial zone?

MR BARR: Of course the government aims, through its planning and development policies, to facilitate revitalisation of many areas of Canberra. I think it would be a fair observation, having seen the situation in many outer suburban shopping centres, that some revitalisation is required. Latham is, indeed, no different from a number of other suburban areas where changing demographics and changing consumer behaviour patterns require commercial responses that are different from what might have been in the minds of our predecessor planners under the National Capital Development Commission.

Prior to self-government, many of the planning policies and ideas that were put in place in that generation have served the territory well. Many, though, have manifestly failed to adapt to changing circumstances within this city. So, an example of suburban shopping centres in some parts of the city struggling commercially and struggling economically is not unique to Latham and, indeed, solutions to that are many and varied, depending of course on where in the city we are talking about.

Health—elective surgery

MR HANSON: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. Yesterday's Canberra Times told the story of four-year old Lachlan, who suffers from sleep apnoea and who is facing a lengthy delay in accessing much-needed elective surgery. In fact, he has been waiting for over a year. His family has been advised that he will require another referral to another surgeon in order to receive the care he needs. Minister, is it acceptable that this family will be forced to seek yet another referral to see another surgeon, because they were unlucky enough to be placed on the longest elective surgery waiting list?

MS GALLAGHER: Luckily the opposition has got the Canberra Times every day—the real opposition in this town, the Canberra Times—because it gives a few hints to the opposition about where it might get its next media release from.

Mr Smyth: Who thought that one up for you?

MS GALLAGHER: It is obvious. Go and have a look. The story comes in the paper; then the media release comes from a lazy opposition that has not got any issues of its own.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Minister, the question, thank you.

Opposition members interjecting—

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