Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 798 ..
MR OSBORNE: My question is directed to the Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell. Given that the health budget is clearly out of control and is going to require a quite focused effort to get it back on track, and that it is quite obvious that you have a very busy workload, with the biggest jobs in the Government, are you now prepared to include a fifth Minister, to make better use of the talent currently going idle on your backbench?
MRS CARNELL: I do have lots of talent on my backbench; there is no doubt about that. I answered a question earlier this week and said that there had been no discussions and that there was no view at all from this Government to go to a fifth Minister. In fact, one of the commitments that I made at the last election was that we would not go to a fifth Minister.
MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Osborne?
MR OSBORNE: Yes. Chief Minister, can you assure this Assembly that you will be able to focus enough attention on this health budget to turn it around?
MRS CARNELL: Yes.
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, through you, I have a question to Mr Stefaniak.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Kaine is asking Mr Stefaniak a question. Behave yourselves!
MR KAINE: I must comment, Mr Speaker, that I thought he was lobbying on behalf of Mr Hird. My question is directed to the Minister for Housing and Family Services, Mr Stefaniak. I note that low income families will no longer have to go on the waiting list for an affordable housing loan through ACT Housing. Can you tell us how this new process works and how many families you expect will benefit from this new process?
MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question; it is an absolute beauty. I am very pleased to provide a response.
Ms McRae: You have announced it already; we do not need to hear it again.
MR STEFANIAK: You probably were not listening the first time. In the past and under the previous Government, the waiting times for a Commissioner for Housing loan varied considerably. On occasions, it might have been just a few months; on other occasions,