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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 February 2011) . . Page.. 140 ..


MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Stop the clock. Mr Barr, I would ask you to withdraw that remark, please.

Mr Barr: Sorry, Mr Assistant Speaker. I withdraw.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you. Mr Hanson, you have the floor.

MR HANSON: What we are getting from the Greens now is ideological nonsense. They have got quite clearly an agenda that they are running and the agenda is to try and drag the health system to the left, to make it all about delivery of public health and to ignore the important role played by many private health practitioners and VMOs, and many surgeons, who work in both the private and public health system.

Based on today’s performance, based on the Greens’ refusal to let us debate the previous censure motion on Minister Corbell, based on the remarkable points in question time yesterday, I think that we have got to a point now that the separation between Minister Gallagher and the Greens is actually closer and narrower than that between sections of the Labor Party.

It is extraordinary what we are seeing here in this Assembly. Now, quite clearly, the only party that is even having a pretence of holding this government to account is the Liberal Party. The Greens have abandoned all pretence that they are a crossbench and are now in lock step with the government, particularly between Minister Gallagher, Amanda Bresnan and Meredith Hunter.

What we should be doing is debating and talking about the failure of the minister when it comes to health. The minister seems to think and the Greens seem to think that I am making this up, that this is just what Jeremy Hanson says. But it is not. The doctors are saying this and we have seen it from the VMOs. It is quite clear that those opposite, particularly Katy Gallagher, do not like Peter Hughes; but he represents a significant number of doctors in this jurisdiction and those opposite cannot ignore that. They cannot ignore the Auditor-General’s report. Caroline Le Couteur said, “Where is the detail?” Read the Auditor-General’s report, Ms Le Couteur, and you might actually see some detail on how bad the management of the list has been in this territory—and this is the management of the list that Katy Gallagher said was not a problem but we find is a real problem, and not just in the downgrading.

The results give us the worst elective surgery waiting times in the country—twice as long as the national average. It is not just me saying this; it is patients. I read out comments from Vesna Nedic. There have been numerous comments made—and I know because many of the complaints that come to me also go to Ms Gallagher, and I write to her frequently about complaints of the system from patients. So complaints are certainly not just coming from me. I am not just making this up.

Let us look at all the issues that we have considered over time in the Assembly, and in recent times. The lowest number of GPs per capita after the Northern Territory: do I make that up? The lowest bulk-billing rates: are they Jeremy Hanson’s fault—and the highest costs for visiting a GP, and the problems in obstetrics? Remember the clinical


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