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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2028 ..

MR MOORE: What I advised this Assembly is that I will not go into individual patient care cases. Mr Stanhope, I am surprised that you would. I think that is appalling. I was prepared to talk to you about this, in as far as I could, on a confidential basis rather than deal with somebody's private patient care. Even there, as I said to you, I am not able to deal with an individual's private and particular case. The advice to me is that the appropriate treatment for this patient is in Goulburn.

Mr Speaker, in Mr Stanhope's preamble to his supplementary question he drew attention to the fact that there was a mix between aged care; that this is a federal government responsibility, not ours. This is not a case of aged care. As best I can work out, Mr Bruce will sometimes be in a hospital and will sometimes be in an aged care facility. Yes, people do cross over that barrier. As I said in answer to the first part, we do not resile from our responsibility when somebody requires hospital care no matter how old they are. We deliver it. We deliver it very effectively, and much more effectively than was done when Mr Berry was minister.

Government-openness and accountability

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister, Mr Humphries. This government has introduced a number of reforms to increase the openness and accountability of government, such as outputs-based budgeting, accrual accounting and removal of charges for freedom of information requests. In particular, Chief Minister, I refer to the publication of the State of the Territory Report, which contains information such as the performance of the ACT schools system on literacy and numeracy. Has the government received positive feedback on the publication of information about how it is doing?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mrs Burke for that very good question. The issue of accountability and openness, and of preparedness to put things on the table, is much in the forefront of political debate at the moment. As Mrs Burke correctly observes, the State of the Territory Report does contain a lot of information about what the government is doing in a range of areas. It gives in particular figures about the performance of our schools as well as things like hospitals, our police force and so on. It publishes in particular figures about how students are performing in respect of literacy and numeracy.

We have received very positive feedback from community groups and members of the public about the usefulness of those reports. Indeed, I suspect that any of us who have used that report in respect of any debate that has taken place in the broader community would have had a very useful tool to establish exactly what is going on, how our public service is performing and in particular how our community is faring vis-a-vis the rest of Australia.

I think parents want to know how well their children are doing. It is a quite natural phenomenon to be allowed to know what your children are doing and how well they are performing. I think openness and accountability in education are as important as it is in other parts of government.

Mr Stanhope has published a policy on open and accountable government in the ACT, in which he says:

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