Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1885..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
Let's take a different indicator, people waiting for attention in the emergency departments of our public hospitals. Again, the ACT, despite the access improvement program, performs very poorly. Of all the people presenting at emergency departments round Australia, 40 per cent-four in 10-in the ACT are not seen on time. The Australian average is 30 per cent, so we are a third worse than the Australian average. Using a different indicator, the median time that people wait to be seen in an emergency department, the ACT also performs poorly. In the ACT, people waited for 40 minutes, much longer than the median of 25 minutes, and no other state was worse than 33 minutes. I can go on and on. The waiting lists clearly have blown out. The figure has gone from 3,488 when we left office to being 30 per cent worse. At the end of March it was 4,545. That is what Mr Gentleman and Ms Gallagher think is acceptable; they think that the system is working.
This motion is important. It is important in the light of the budget, where there are figures that cannot be trusted or are just unbelievable. The budget is not even a day old and the minister will now have to explain them. Is the sum mentioned $41 million or $61 million? Are there or aren't there job cuts? Is the work force growing or not growing? This motion is important because we deserve, we need and we have to support a great work force. We should be supporting our nurses, our doctors and our allied health workers. I do not believe that they are getting the support that they deserve from this government. This government must tell us as an Assembly and as a community how they it is going to fix this problem because I am that sure none of us wants to end up with a system like the New South Wales system.
Debate (on motion by Ms Gallagher ) adjourned to the next sitting.
Motion (by Ms Gallagher ) proposed:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
Mr Tony Campbell
MR STEFANIAK (Leader of the Opposition) (Ginninderra) (5.58 ): I rise tonight to put on the record my appreciation of a Canberra resident who, sadly, passed away recently, that is, Tony Campbell, a well-known racing identity, a magnificent man who came to Canberra in the 1970s, a talented fellow who used to have a band during the 1960s. I had the pleasure of meeting him in 1979, not long after he took up a job at Channel 10. He was not only a premier race caller and one of the ornaments of ACT racing over close on three decades but also a great supporter of all sport. I remember the time when I was back in Canberra from Muswellbrook and I was trying to form a junior rugby club for the Tuggeranong Rugby Club, which I had had one season with as a player in about 1975.
I was with Royals at the time, but I went across to try to help them out with forming junior teams and Tony was a great help. He allowed me to go on Channel 10 with Col Perman, who used to play five-eighth for the ACT and was also a Royals first grader at the time, and pump a few registration days. It was great going round the schools. Col