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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2530 ..

Mr Smyth: And you took $27 million out.

MR CORBELL: Let's face it, you removed tens of millions of dollars out of the ACTION budget in the time you were in government, and you cannot walk away from that. You were planning to rip another $18 million out of ACTION, and we have replaced that with a $47.5 million investment package in ACTION-the largest investment in the past 10 years. That is this government's response.

In answer to Mr Hargreaves' question, this government is already responding to the issues that the Liberal Party's forum has raised. Unfortunately, even when the Liberals try to play catch-up on transport planning issues, they still have not learnt the lessons that the last seven years should have taught them.

Hospital waiting lists-figures

MR HUMPHRIES: My question is to Mr Stanhope as Minister for Health. Yesterday, Minister, you said in answer to questions on hospital waiting lists that there were 4,054 Canberrans awaiting elective surgery in Canberra's public hospitals at the end of July this year. That was both the figure you gave in the house yesterday and the figure that you produced to the Estimates Committee on notice in answer to a question you answered on 12 August. I seek leave to table that answer.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I present the following paper:

Hospital waiting lists-Copy of page 1 of letter to Mr Humphries, Chairman, Select Committee on Estimates 2002-03 from Jon Stanhope MLA, Minister for Health, in response to questions on waiting lists and estimated raw and cost weighted occasions for service at The Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital emergency departments.

Mr Stanhope, why did you then put out a press release yesterday, headed "Elective surgery waiting lists" claiming that there were only 3,921 people on the waiting list at the end of July 2002? It is the same date; it is the same set of figures being looked at. You can't have been giving the same information to both the ACT Assembly and the public, since the information is very different. Which is the correct information?

MR STANHOPE: The issue of waiting lists has certainly been achieving significant attention, certainly in the minds of the Liberal Party. I am happy to provide some additional information on the numbers, and there are a couple of things I would like to say about that. To give some historical perspective, in July 1998 there were 4,660 people on the waiting list, in July 1999 there were 4,643, in July 2000 there were 4,105, in July 2001 there were 3,599 and then at the time-

Mr Humphries: Coming down some more.

MR STANHOPE: Yes. Then there was another interesting little trend. In October 2001, the month in which the Labor Party took over, there were 3,731. Do you notice the trend there?

Mr Humphries: Yes. Labor takes over, and the lists go up.

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