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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2171 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the answer to the latter part of the question is the same as it was before. Yes, the Government is interested in carrying forward these recommendations. "In full" depends on the extent of the Government's response. I cannot promise that any report the Government receives, or that any government receives for that matter, will necessarily be implemented in full. Governments always have to assess a number of factors, including cost, and that, Mr Speaker, is the issue that at this stage is holding up progress on the Government response to the domestic violence report. I will certainly undertake to have it available to members. I expect that it will be available in the period between now and when we next sit. Rather than wait for the report to be presented on the floor of the Assembly, I will take the liberty of circulating it to members so they can see it before the Assembly next resumes, and then I will formally table it here.

MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. Minister, what would be your response to community concerns? You say that it is a matter of cost that is holding this up. Members of the community believe genuinely that lives are at stake here. You say there is an issue of cost. How would you respond to that? What is the value that you put on lives that are actually at risk?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Humphries, that is very hypothetical.

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, it is slightly. Mr Speaker, I will say this: The Government obviously views the maintenance of strong domestic violence laws as being extremely important. For that reason we support and maintain a system in the ACT, which I believe is pretty good - certainly on a relative basis in this country - for the protection of those who are victims of domestic violence. I would say to those people that the fact that the Government needs to work through a number of issues, including resourcing initiatives which are recommended in the CLRC's report, does not imply that we are either callous or uncaring about the plight of people who are victims of domestic violence, or that we intend to defer the issue in order to save money. We are about finding the best way of resourcing and funding appropriate initiatives to ensure that people who are in that unfortunate position are appropriately protected.

Mrs Carnell: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Hospital Patient Numbers

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I wonder whether I could give some further information on some questions that have been asked recently. In answer to a question last week I informed members of the unusual situation at Woden Valley Hospital regarding double-counting of day surgery over a period of 14 months. This double-counting of surgery skewed the overall surgery figures for the hospital quite dramatically and led to some quite misleading conclusions being drawn about the number of operations being conducted at the hospital.

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