Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1669..
MR HANSON (Molonglo) (11.28): Extraordinary, Madam Deputy Speaker. I thought we were debating the very serious issue of emergency department data which we know has been falsified and this Assembly's attempt to get to the bottom of that. But what we heard from Mr Rattenbury was an eight-minute spray at the Liberal Party. If we were in any doubt whether the Greens' position on this is politically motivated, whether there is any genuine attempt to get to the bottom of the data or whether it is an attempt by Mr Rattenbury and his colleagues to essentially restrict the scope of this investigation so it does the least amount of damage to their cosy arrangement with the Labor Party then I think we have the answer.
If you look at the amendments that have come forward from the Labor Party and the Greens, what you see is a desperate attempt to restrict whoever does this investigation—be it a board of inquiry or be it the Ombudsman or be it the Auditor-General—to simply look at the data. It is quite clear that Katy Gallagher does not want the scope of any inquiry moved beyond that.
The reality, though, is that this is an issue about honesty, as Mr Seselja said, and it is about people. Although we are talking about data, the reality of that data is that every time we read about additional waiting times, we are talking about people who are now waiting in our hospital longer than anyone else in the country. Whilst they are waiting there, they are being lied to about how long they are waiting. That is what we are talking about here. It is not just some superficial data; it is not about a piece of paper; it is about people.
When the director-general made her statement on 24 April, that evening I went to an Anzac eve dinner with my RSL sub-branch. There was a very elderly lady there who is a veteran of World War II, and she said to me, "Jeremy, I waited in that emergency department for eight hours."I know that she is telling the truth because I saw her there. I was there with my son visiting CALMS and she was there in a wheelchair. She had been waiting there for eight hours. She knows how long she waited. The community know how long they are waiting—they are waiting longer than anyone else in the country. But this is a minister and this is a government who have been lying to people waiting in the emergency department. That is the issue here. As much as Shane Rattenbury and Amanda Bresnan want to make this an issue, bizarrely, about the Canberra Liberals or about Jeremy Hanson, it is not. It is an issue about the community.
I note that in the Greens' and Labor amendments, they are concerned about the staff member who has falsified the data. There is no concern for the community. We know Jon Stanhope's approach was to tell them to stop whinging. That is what he said on the radio. So there is nothing from the Greens and Labor about apologising to the community and the concern they have for people who have waited for longer than anyone else in the nation and being lied to about it. It is all about "let's restrict this to a look at the data and let's ignore all those other factors that have come to light". Extraordinary.
It seems now that the Greens are politically motivated. They have made a decision that their best hope is to attach themselves to the Labor Party and see how they go.