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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (17 March) . . Page.. 969..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

But let us look at the lives of real people—people who are being sent interstate for oncology treatment, with $36 a day in their pocket; children who are on waiting lists for well over a year for potentially lifesaving surgery; people who turn up with broken limbs at the hospital and who are put on the emergency surgery list and who are prepped for theatre day after day after day. They wake up every morning and are told: "Today you will be going to theatre. Nil by mouth for you today."Then they do not go to theatre.

I have dealt with cases of elderly people who had broken bones, who were prepped four days in a row, who were on emergency surgery lists and still did not get in. I have had members of my own family, on two occasions, being on the emergency surgery list for in excess of four days, prepped for theatre every day but not going to theatre. And these are the things that happen. These are the real things. Sometimes they are young people and they can cope with it. Sometimes they are not and they are bewildered; they are confused; they are in pain. Sometimes their lives are at risk.

This is why we should support Mr Hanson's motion, including the condemnation of the minister for her failures in managing the health portfolio effectively—for failing to ensure the communications and procedures in ACT Health are effective and for failing to be transparent and open with the public about critical issues in the performance of her portfolio. I commend Mr Hanson for his motion today and will not be supporting the amendment proposed.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (11.40): I thank members for their contributions to the debate, obviously some more than others. If I can reflect on the Greens' contribution to the debate, as my colleagues in the opposition have outlined, what we have seen from both the debate and the amendment put forward by Ms Bresnan is, again, essentially, the Greens running interference for the government. The government did not bother putting amendments to my motion.

What we have seen is that the Greens have got the job, every time the Liberals put in a substantive motion, of saying: "No. We will do the job. Do not worry, Katy; do not worry, Simon; do not worry, Andrew; we will water it down so that it is more palatable for you and then we will all vote for it together."That seems to be the normal course of business, and we have seen that again today. And there is no question that Ms Bresnan's amendment would significantly water down what I put before the Assembly. This is a very important motion.

What I have tried to do—and I have spoken with Bosom Buddies; I have spoken with the Cancer Council—is form my own opinion of what is important in this motion. I do not simply listen to what people say and then dictate word by word what they want. I listen to what people say and form my own opinion about what is important in this issue.

What we see from the Greens is another attempt to water down a motion so that it is more palatable for the Greens. I am sure that they are aware of that. They are involved in budget negotiations. They want to make sure that their initiatives are looked at favourably by the Treasurer. They want to make sure that they keep the Speaker's job.


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