Page 3989 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 22 October 1991

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Tuesday, 22 October 1991


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 2.30 pm and read the prayer.


Select Committee on Hospital Bed Numbers

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to Mr Humphries, the chair of the Select Committee on Hospital Bed Numbers. Will he inform the Assembly of the committee's travel plans in relation to its inquiry? Is he aware of the cost of this travel?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am happy to return to my feet and establish that I can answer better than the person who has asked me a question. The committee, which was established last week in the Assembly, met this morning at 11.30 to discuss travel arrangements. It was urged upon the committee by its members that some travel was appropriate.

In particular, it was suggested that a trip to Tasmania, to examine hospital arrangements there, would be appropriate. I should record, Mr Speaker - I am sure she knows that this is coming - that that suggestion came from the ALP member of the committee. If members of the committee, particularly ALP members, wish to travel to Tasmania and if it is the view of the committee that it would profit from that journey, I have no hesitation in suggesting that we make that trip - obviously, provided that funds are available.

The committee has also expressed the desire to travel to Sydney - at considerably less expense, I might point out - and we would consider that matter in due course. However, we have not made any final decisions about where we will travel and when that will be.

Hospital Services

MR KAINE: I would like to address a question to Mr Berry; we will see how good he is at answering it. I refer him to a letter that he, as Minister, sent to all his health staff earlier this year. I quote from it:

You will be acutely aware that, as Labor's Health spokesperson, I was critical of the Alliance Government's approach to providing hospital

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