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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 190 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

Let us not forget that it was as early as April last year that Mr Humphries first had this matter raised with him; correspondence passed between him and the Opposition; the Opposition agreed to it; and it was followed by no action whatsoever. Mr Humphries, had you acted in the way that I have acted today in relation to the Dangerous Goods Act, we would not have had to deal with the retrospective issue which has been created by your own inactivity. It is your competence that is under notice here and in question.

Mr Speaker, this Bill will, as I said, provide a time limit which takes account of the emerging likelihood of long and technical coronial inquiries in relation to time limits. This Bill, though, will have no retrospective effect, because it does not need to.

Mr Humphries: But it does now.

MR BERRY: Mr Attorney-General, keep your eye on the ball. Mr Speaker, it has no retrospective effect, because the time limit does not run out until 13 July, if it is passed by this Assembly in time. This was an option which was open for you last time but which you failed to come to grips with. So, Mr Speaker, I go back to my earlier comments. It can be done if you have a commitment to do so. This is precisely what could have happened if this Minister had not adopted, as I said, this curious period of inactivity on the difficulties brought to his attention as long ago as April last year.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries) adjourned.


MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.01): Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Assembly, noting:

(1) the increasing blowout in The Canberra Hospital budget;

(2) the alarming increase in elective surgery waiting lists;

(3) the Minister for Health and Community Care's inability to deal positively with staff of The Canberra Hospital;

(4) the replacement of the Chief Executive of The Canberra Hospital; and

(5) the Minister for Health and Community Care's interference in the day to day management of The Canberra Hospital;

expresses its grave concern at the inability of the government and the Minister for Health and Community Care to effectively manage the health system.

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