Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 2858..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
and which has hitherto conducted itself in a true multipartisan fashion. I think Bill Stefaniak set the standard in his first term. He continued that standard in his second and third terms. Now, of course, the challenge for Mr Seselja is to make sure that the legacy left by Mr Stefaniak is continued in the future, and I wish him the very best of luck.
I enjoyed my time on that committee immensely. It enabled me to obtain an education about the difference between a politician and a parliamentarian. I was able to absorb that and I hope to be able to employ it. If I have not employed it, let me assure the house that this has been deliberate and not accidental. I commend the appointment of Mr Seselja. It is a job I would have dearly loved to have had when I was on the committee, even though, as I have said, I had some exposure thanks to Mr Osborne. So, again, welcome to Mr Seselja and a big thank you to Bill Stefaniak.
MR SPEAKER: I welcome the students from year 5 of St Thomas the Apostle, Kambah.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Sitting suspended from 11.52 to 2.30 pm.
MR STANHOPE: As members would be aware, two of my colleagues, the Attorney-General and the minister for education, are unavailable to attend the Assembly today as a result of illness. I apologise. In that event, I am available to take questions that may have been directed to Mr Corbell. Ms Gallagher will take questions that may have been directed to Mr Barr.
Questions without notice
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Health. On 11 September this year you announced yet another reform plan, which I think is the seventh health reform plan of the Stanhope government, to tackle the long waiting lists for elective surgery. Your announcement contains a number of good intentions or what you describe incorrectly as "new initiatives". Minister, what are you anticipating from your latest request—to develop specific programs, to explore options, to review waiting list criteria and to review role delineations?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question and for the opportunity to talk about elective surgery and some of the areas we are looking into to improve our performance.
Every year the government spends around $76 million on elective surgery in the ACT. As members would be aware, in the last financial year we exceeded 9,000 operations—in fact, 9,120 removals from the list, which was a record for the ACT. Ninety-six per cent of category 1 patients are being seen within the standard 30-day time frame. We have seen big improvements for category 2 patients where it is desirable that they have