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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 6095..


digestion. Anaerobic digestion provides for a range of products as an outcome of that process. That includes the extraction of methane, for example, for energy generation, and it also provides for the development of a digestate that can be used to improve agricultural soil. So there are products that are being—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members, that is enough.

MR CORBELL: It just shows you, Mr Speaker, how serious the Liberal Party are about issues around waste policy. The government has just released a new strategy based on very detailed assessment and modelling around options to reduce waste to landfill and all they want to do is make a joke about it. The rest of the Assembly, I think, are interested in the policy choices facing the city about reducing waste to landfill. The sooner the Liberal Party engage in a serious policy discussion about the choices before us and how we can reduce waste to landfill further, the better it will be for our community.

In summary, and in response to Ms Hunter's question, there are products that can be developed to assist in agricultural processes, whether that is digestate, through anaerobic digestion, or whether it is, for example, bio-chaff—the reuse of organic materials from bio-chaff. Both of these can be used to contribute to improving soils and improving agricultural productivity.

Canberra Hospital—emergency department

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, on 1 December, 81-year-old Antonina Jurello was admitted to Canberra Hospital after waiting for 13 hours over two days in the emergency department. Minister, is this the treatment that elderly residents of the ACT can expect when they visit the emergency department?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Hanson for the question. Due to the provisions of the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act, I am not able to speak about individual cases in the Assembly. In broad, I can say that long waits at the emergency department are avoided when they can be. The emergency department works on a triage system. The emergency departments at both Canberra Hospital and Calvary have been extremely busy over the last six weeks. Indeed, they are very busy today dealing with some of the pressure from the floods around the region.

Overall, our emergency department performance is improving. It has been improving for the last four quarters. In categories 1, 2, and 5 we meet the national benchmarks. In categories 3 and 4 the results are improving and we are heading in the right direction. A lot of this has become—

Mr Hanson: Down from 75 per cent when you took office.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson.


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