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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2010) . . Page.. 147 ..


Mr Hanson, isn’t it? Perhaps he is too busy making his own leadership plans. I would suspect that is what is going on.

And, of course, there is Mr Hanson’s health discussion paper and the brilliant and insightful assertion in the Chronicle, referring to the health system, that it needed to be better, more efficient, as well as bigger. What an insightful and brilliant assertion from Mr Hanson! I am very much looking forward to how Mr Hanson can show he will do this. The fact that he has actually just discovered this and that he has also just discovered preventive health is a very interesting point.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.37): I am happy to rise in support of Mr Seselja’s important motion which, of course, has been trivialised as one would expect by the Stanhope government and the insubstantial responses put forward by the Chief Minister, Mr Barr and Mr Corbell. Sadly, it has been trivialised by the party that promised to bring the community third party insurance in the ACT.

The Stanhope government must every year dread the thought of what the Productivity Commission might say about it in its annual report on government services. It must dread the report because every year it shows up this government for what it really is—an underachieving, failing government with wrong priorities, poor management and a government more focused on inputs than outcomes.

What we have seen in the Productivity Commission report is that over the eight years of the Stanhope government things are getting worse for the people of the ACT. This Stanhope Labor government is working for Labor. It is not working for the people of the ACT and the result is that Canberrans, in the words of the Canberra Times, are paying for more and getting less.

Madam Deputy Speaker, let me give you a few examples from my own portfolio areas. I will start with the area of child protection. According to the Productivity Commission report, and I am referring to figure 15.2 and also to the tables that go with the report which are not in the hard copy edition, the ACT is the only jurisdiction with declining expenditure on childcare and protection.

Figure 15.11 shows that the ACT has the third lowest rate in the country of placement of Indigenous children in out-of-home care with Indigenous relatives or carers in Indigenous residential care. Only Tasmania and the Northern Territory are worse. Figure 15.13 shows that the ACT government’s expenditure on all out-of-home care per child is declining. When the figures first came out, I did not criticise, because it is quite possibly the case that we are getting more efficient at these matters.

One of the things that I have said consistently on this indicator is that we need to drill down and the minister needs to drill down to demonstrate whether we are in fact getting better value for money or whether we are in fact just spending less. I think that that is part of the debate and the discussion that we need to have in this place. This is one of those indicators where the jury is still out. The challenge for us as an Assembly is to drill down into those figures.

But at the same time that we see it is possible we may be being more efficient here, we are spending less per child than we spent five years ago in real dollar terms. The


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