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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1817 ..


Debate resumed from 21 September 1995, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CONNOLLY (3.40): Again, this is a Bill that has been brought on today, but we are happy to cooperate. This picks up a little anomaly that, I guess, was not foreseen at the time the Guardianship and Management of Property Bill was put through the Assembly. That was a very significant Bill, which allows simple form proceedings to be taken to allow the affairs of somebody who is incapable of administering their own affairs to be looked after. Previously, for persons who, through age or infirmity, were unable to conduct their own affairs, it was necessary to bring an action under the Lunacy Act, which was a most undignified way of doing things. There are a whole range of reasons why somebody may be infirm. One may be illness. People may be, say, extremely ill and waiting on a hip replacement. I noted in the document slipped in by Mr Humphries a few minutes ago that the waiting list for hip replacement, orthopaedic surgery, at Woden Valley Hospital has jumped from 401 in March 1995 to 495 in August 1995 - a 25 per cent increase.

Mr Humphries: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I do not think this has much to do with the Guardianship and Management of Property Act, edifying though it must be to all of us.

MR SPEAKER: I must uphold the point of order. Relevance, Mr Connolly.

MR CONNOLLY: Mr Speaker, as I was saying, this is an Act which allows a person who is infirm and unable to conduct their affairs to have their affairs properly conducted. I said that there were many reasons which may lead to that infirmity, including serious illness, and some forms of serious illness may involve people waiting for hip replacements. One of the most emotive issues that Mrs Carnell went on and on about during the election was hip replacements. I note that a 25 per cent increase in the orthopaedic surgical waiting list at Woden Valley Hospital was not - - -

Mr Humphries: They might do brain replacements as well, if Mr Connolly asks kindly. I think this really is a very long bow and it should not be permitted.

MR SPEAKER: As I say, he has an "A" for ingenuity. Mr Connolly, I really must ask you to get back to the topic.

MR CONNOLLY: Mr Speaker, the Government's sensitivity to a 25 per cent increase in the orthopaedic waiting list at Woden Valley Hospital is understandable. Mr Humphries is doing a sterling job in attempting to defend his now departed Health Minister.

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