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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 238 ..

Ms Carnell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Berry may have just misled the house. I am sure that he did not mean to. He said that this approach from Mr Moore was unprecedented. Mr Speaker, I took that responsibility for the whole of the ACT Government, not just in health, for a period of time in our First Assembly. So, it is certainly not unprecedented.

MR SPEAKER: Certainly, but there is no point of order, Chief Minister, as you know.

MR BERRY: I wish I had known about that. I would have given you a bit of a serve, too. The fact of the matter is that this interference and the confrontational game-playing approach which has been exhibited by this Minister, I think, are important.

The last thing I want to say is: Why is it that this Minister has not been able to cope with these difficulties in health? This is the most lightly laden Health Minister ever. He has fewer responsibilities than any Health Minister ever. Every other Health Minister has had additional responsibilities beyond this Minister's. So, Mr Speaker, this Minister has no excuses. The community out there is entitled to know how the extra funding that has been put aside for this lightly laden Minister has been justified in performance. We say that it has not been justified by his performance and that we are entitled to express some concerns about it. Mr Moore said to us earlier that he had a vision. For some of us, the vision has turned out to be a bit of a nightmare, especially for those people that are on waiting lists, those people who have been dealt with unfairly within the hospital system and those professionals whose duties are being interfered with, one way or another, by this Minister.

Mr Speaker, this is about an expression of view by this Assembly about a poor performance by a lightly laden Minister who is paid well to do a job in the hospital system. But the most memorable thing that has come out of the Minister has been a law to prevent leaflets under windscreen-wipers. That is the most memorable thing that has come from this Minister. Those people who at one time might have been in need of methadone to deal with their heroin dependency, who had to wait six or seven weeks to get onto the methadone program, would be applauding us for taking this action.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (3.56): Mr Speaker, this really is not surprising. Having been in this place for such a long period, as soon as Mr Moore told me and the rest of the community that there was a problem in the health budget this year I realised that the first thing that would happen would be that Mr Berry would want to settle some old scores over this process. Mr Berry has now left the chamber, as he generally does after he has thrown his grenades. You could almost see the weeping cuts on his body from previous scars and battles he has had on health, and his desire to seek revenge on those who raised these issues in the past against him by now quoting the same issues back at them.

Mr Speaker, the fact is that this is not the first time that a health budget has blown out in this Territory. It is not the first time that waiting lists have blown out. It is not the first time that ample doses or helpings of hypocrisy have accompanied a debate about who is responsible and why there are such problems in our health system. Mr Speaker, let me go back to the past. Members have already quoted the past. Mr Berry, Mr Stanhope and

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