Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1113..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
commitments to people with a mental illness in a way that the previous government did not.
It is interesting to go through these issues in terms of the commitments which we made and which we stand by and to look at this government's record in disability services—a record which required the holding of a royal commission into their failures. The Liberal Party's position on the delivery of mental health services, when we came to government, was the lowest per capita level of mental health funding in Australia, which we have worked assiduously to overcome.
The lowest per capital level of mental health expenditure in Australia is Brendan Smyth's legacy. A royal commission into disability services is Brendan Smyth's legacy. The need to inject $100 million of funding into emergency services is Brendan Smyth's legacy. The need to employ dozens of additional child protection workers, on coming to government, is Brendan Smyth's legacy. These are Liberal Party legacies which we have been required to fund. Of course, the failings which we have picked up and have been required to fund on the basis of the fact that you had no commitment to these issues or to your community go on and on.
You failed people with a disability. You failed people with mental illness. You failed children at risk. You failed in your obligation to appropriately fund emergency services. This community has paid a price as a result of your failings. It is only through this government and this government's commitment and diligence that we have been able to address those issues. We stand proudly by our achievements.
We will continue to deliver, but we will do it in a context of incrementally increasing demand, a level of commitment that cannot continue at the level it was. To the extent that you may wish to throw barbs at us, it is that in some areas we have been forced to expend, particularly on health, at an annual level of 10 per cent, which cannot continue in the future. We will reduce the level of the growth.
MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Attorney-General and Minister for Police and Emergency Services. In the light of the comments made this morning by Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mr Mick Keelty in relation to the number of police officers in the ACT and the decision to introduce black box recorders for ACT Policing vehicles, can the minister advise the Assembly of the government's response to those matters?
Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Standing order 117 does not allow for people to be asked about government policy. I ask you to rule whether this is a revealing of government policy.
Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Gentleman was not asking for an announcement of government policy; he is asking for clarification of what the government's policy is, which is entirely in order.
Mrs Dunne: No, actually Mr Gentleman asked what was the government's response to this announcement today.