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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (20 September) . . Page.. 4063..


the operations. Instead of doing it based on clinical need and people who have been waiting the longest, which is what we had been doing, we would have had to stop focusing on the people who had been waiting the longest and remove people who had been waiting shorter times. In total, we would have had to stop about 105 operations. The decision we took was the right one. We got $700,000 more in reward funding.

MR SMYTH: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, how many people will miss out on elective surgery because the ACT will not receive this funding?

MS GALLAGHER: The reward funding depends on the nature of the surgery you would have applied it to, but as a rough ruler it would have paid for about an additional hundred operations, but we would have had to stop 105 in order to get it.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, can you guarantee that we will meet elective surgery targets in the future?

MS GALLAGHER: That is the intention, Mr Smyth. The additions to the waiting list are outside the control of politicians. Based on what we know now and demand drivers that we have seen, yes, we have plans in place. This was a brief snapshot in time—six months. I have met with the federal minister to let her know that we would have difficulty reaching some of the targets, based on the make-up of our waiting list. We have met all of the targets. Indeed, we met the targets within a month of not achieving them. So we were not far off. But I think that the strategy of just keeping on doing what we are doing—the benefits of that are outlined in the report card—was the right decision. We have done 11,300-odd operations this year. We will do 11,300 operations next year. We have $700,000 additional reward funding to inject into the system to do probably 80 extra operations on top of that.

Canberra Institute of Technology—alleged bullying

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. I draw the minister's attention to articles in the weekend's Canberra Times regarding bullying incidents at CIT. The article quotes two former staff who talk of a "culture of bullying and harassment"at the institute. The article further notes that WorkSafe ACT is still investigating seven complaints against CIT after it issued improvement notices to three separate work areas at the institute earlier this year. Minister, when did you first become aware of allegations of bullying and the fact that a culture of bullying was developing, or in fact is well established, at CIT? Given that there appear to be ongoing bullying issues amongst current staff, what have you done about it?

MR BARR: I draw the attention of the shadow minister to the comments of the Chief Executive of the institute in that article in relation to the allegations he has raised.


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