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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4100..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

There are a couple of items which, of themselves, will cost $25 million to implement. He wants reductions in the waiting times and waiting lists, which the department has costed at $25 million, before June 2004. He wants a new detailed information system that has been costed at $25 million-that is $50 million in two items. Here is a new leader of the Liberal Party who wants to spend another $200 million in 18 months!

Mr Humphries: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: a bit less content and a bit more answer to the question would be nice. The question was: what is the size of the waiting list? None of this relates to the size of the waiting list whatsoever.

MR SPEAKER: I am sure the Chief Minister and Health Minister is just coming to the point.

MR STANHOPE: I am. We really need to reflect on the sheer irresponsibility of this. On his first day in the job, he is going to double it in 18 months-$200 million in 18 months. There are all these other things-the things he did not consult on, the things he did not prioritise, and all the little gems in here-the things that Greg Cornwell urged him to do.

Mr Smyth, how hard did Greg Cornwell and Bill Stefaniak have to twist your arm to get you to agree to introduce a needle exchange and an injecting room at Quamby? Mr Stefaniak and Mr Cornwell, how hard did you have to lean on him to include in this health statement today that there will be a needle exchange and a safe injecting room in Quamby, in the periodic detention centre, and at the BRC?

What do you think about that, as Attorney-General, Mr Stefaniak? Are you backing that to the hilt? You are backing that to the hilt, are you, mate? Greg Cornwell will back it! Greg Cornwell will back a needle exchange for criminals-as long as they are not from ethnically diverse backgrounds-for anybody out at the BRC or out at Quamby. Quamby will be a problem because half the kids out there are Aboriginal. I do not know what your view is on that, Mr Cornwell-needle exchanges in all of our detention facilities. I guess you cannot have a needle exchange-arming every single detainee with a lethal weapon. This is an interesting proposal!

Mr Humphries: On a further point of order, Mr Speaker: there is a rule about relevance, and none of this answer has yet provided for any relevance whatever to the question that was asked.

MR SPEAKER: I think the time for contextualising is over-you should come to the point.

MR STANHOPE: I will conclude on that note. It is remarkably irresponsible to suggest that, by June 2004, we are going to spend another $200 million on health. What are you going to cut? Are you going to close down the education department?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Minister for Health, resume your seat.


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