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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 205 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

I have also stated that I am very interested in suggestions from other members about other ways of dealing with them - for example, the Health and Community Care Committee is looking at the matter - and I will listen very carefully to those suggestions. But in the end either we can take an entirely negative approach to this matter or we can take a very positive approach as an Assembly to try to deal with it in a long-term way. The choice is yours.

MR KAINE (11.53): I must say that, to some degree, I have sympathy for Mr Moore having to stand up today and defend the situation in our hospital, because the truth of it is that the situation in that hospital is the result of four years of mismanagement, not just one. Mr Moore said that he has a vision. He might have had a vision a year ago which would have told him not to take the poisoned chalice, but he did take it and today he is here answering for the problems in our hospital. I think that Mr Stanhope's motion is deficient in that it only talks about the current Minister for Health and Community Care. It should have embraced the person who was the Minister for Health and Community Care over the preceding three years.

I think we need to go back and review the history that led us to where we are today. I begin with the present Chief Minister's statement in her reply to the Follett budget in 1993-94, delivered in this place. I will quote just a couple of extracts. At that time the Chief Minister had been talking about some of the problems in the budget that was being proposed and she said:

Madam Speaker, it does not stop there. Hospital waiting lists are growing and public patients are having to wait longer. There is nothing in this budget to address the unacceptably long waiting lists we have in Canberra.

That was in 1993. She continued:

In fact, quite the opposite is true. This budget will produce even longer queues at our public hospitals.

That was a critique of Ms Follett's last budget. But the punchline is that further down in her speech the present Chief Minister said:

... in relation to health, Canberra is losing its credibility interstate. We are being treated as a joke ...

That was in 1993. Eighteen months later, the then Leader of the Opposition who made that statement became the Chief Minister. In her acceptance speech, having been elected to this place, she made another nice little speech, and again I quote:

One of our first priorities -

first priorities -

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