Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3204 ..
MS DUNDAS (continuing):
I am not happy with the amendment moved by the Minister for Health. I would prefer to see an commitment from this government to do something to fix the problems facing the health care community in the ACT.
MR SMYTH (11.38): The Liberal Party will not be supporting the amendment, because the government has to do this anyway. The government will get a report and it will make it public. Thank you for your affirmation that you are going to carry out the things you will do. As Ms Dundas has pointed out, this is about making a difference. This is about making a decision and doing something. We would rather see something happen.
MS TUCKER (11.39): I will support this amendment. The Chief Minister has made it quite clear that he is supportive of the general intention. He has a problem with the wording of this motion. It is pre-emptive. He has not seen the report. It is more a procedural issue, as far as I can see.
MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women): I seek leave to speak again.
MR STANHOPE: For the record, I want to confirm the government's position. The government has no objection in principle to the notion of nurse practitioners operating in the ACT. There is a process issue here. I do not think it is appropriate for this Assembly to be calling on the government to implement the outcomes of a report which has yet to be written and which I have not seen. It is a nonsense way to proceed. I accept the spirit in which the motion was moved today. I have no difficulty with that at all. I do not object in principle to anything Ms Dundas has said or to the spirit in which she has brought this matter before the Assembly today.
My position relates to process. I cannot accept on behalf of the government a motion which calls on me as the minister to do something-
Mrs Dunne: Heaven forbid that the government should do something.
MR STANHOPE: We know the Liberal Party's position on ignoring reports and not calling for reports. We need to go back and have a bit of a think about Bruce stadium. Let us talk about Bruce stadium and the Liberal Party's attitude to implementing reports that were not written.
Mr Smyth: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. This is the Jon Stanhope "I cannot think of a better answer" defence. He should be relevant to the argument.
MR SPEAKER: I think there has to be some connectedness there.
MR STANHOPE: There is not. I will conclude. I do not want to take up the time of the Assembly. It is a very busy program today, and I am sure we are all keen to get through it. We have commissioned a report. The previous government established a nurse practitioner trial steering committee. I congratulate them for that. This is consistent with the Liberal Party's approach. The Liberal Party now thinks we should ignore the nurse practitioner trial steering committee. We do not need to listen to it; we just need to go