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a reasonable target. One of the advantages of corporatisation is that it removes the bureaucratic constraints and allows a government-owned corporation to compete more freely. The Queensland Labor Treasurer, Keith De Lacy, admitted that, by corporatising their State’s electricity power, “the government would abrogate any involvement it may have had in the past in day-to-day management to enable the board and management to focus on clearly prescribed commercial objectives”. Mr Speaker, corporatisation is not a radical move. It is something that all sensible, commonsense governments have undertaken, both Liberal and Labor. This Government has a lot of commonsense, and it will go the same way.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Before I call Mr Berry, I remind all members of standing order 117(a), which says that questions shall be brief and relate to a single issue, and standing order 118(a), which says that answers to questions without notice shall be concise.

Health Services - Consultancy

MR BERRY: My question is directed to the Chief Minister in her capacity as Health Minister. I almost could not believe my ears a moment ago when Mrs Carnell said that the first nine weeks of a consultancy was going to cost $330,000. For how long will the consultancy go?

MRS CARNELL: Nine weeks. I told you before. Mr Berry would have known the answer to this question if Mr Connolly had bothered coming to the briefing yesterday. They would have known, had they bothered to read the quite substantial briefing paper that has gone out to everybody. All the media and everybody else have had these questions answered. The reason you might not have known is that you did not come to the briefing, which was really silly. I will run through it. It is all in writing; it is all above board. Everybody who bothered to find out knows how this consultancy works. Just for the Labor Party, I will run through it.

The consultancy will commence with a diagnostic phase, which will start in the next couple of weeks. Actually, it is starting this week, come to think of it - the end of May. The cost of the first nine to 10 weeks of the diagnostic phase will be $330,000 for professional fees, plus some expenses, which have been outlined. The cost of stage 2 of the consultancy, which is in the next six to nine months, the implementation phase, will be finalised at the end of stage 1, when we determine what the priorities and targeted areas will be. Like any sensible government which goes into this sort of consultancy, we have not decided what the outcomes will be. Surprise, surprise! So, we have a first phase, the diagnostic phase, which goes for nine to 10 weeks. At the end of that time we will have a report - not from the consultants, but from the group, which is a mixture of the consultants, people who work in health and health management - on the areas where we can achieve improvement in quality and improvement in costs, generally.

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