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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4097 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

Contact your local parliamentary member and ask them to ensure they be vigilant in local libraries, community centres and vocal in the local press on maintaining tolerance and community solidarity.

It says:

Contact your local parliamentary member and ask them to ensure they be vigilant in local libraries.

Are you aware of any instances where the ACT Library Service has promoted intolerance and community division? Do you consider it appropriate that MLAs be asked to act as censors to override a decision made by the ACT Library Service to put a book, magazine, newspaper or other materials on the shelves?

Will you be making a decision to remove all copies of Anna Sewell's book Black Beauty from the shelves, or culling perhaps the complete works of Shakespeare to remove The Merchant of Venice or Othello-consistent, as they would be, with the recommendations of this politically correct Chief Minister's Department? Have you seen the brochure, Minister?

MR WOOD: I think the question was: have I seen the brochure. No, I have not.

MR CORNWELL: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, will you withdraw this pamphlet and have it reprinted-or will you ask the Chief Minister to withdraw it and have it reprinted-without references to MLAs in this house or, for that matter, other parliamentarians from Canberra in the federal parliament, acting as community censors in ACT public libraries?

MR WOOD: Mr Cornwell seems to be personally offended that there should be a suggestion that he ought to keep his eyes open as to what is happening in the community. I find the question remarkable and inconsequential.

Elective surgery waiting list

MS MacDONALD: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Health, Mr Stanhope. Can the minister tell the Assembly the number of people who were on the waiting list for elective surgery at ACT public hospitals at the end of November?

MR STANHOPE: Yes, I can, Ms MacDonald. I would like to give Mr Smyth advance notice of this, so he can steel himself for his press release congratulating the ACT government on the reduction in the waiting list.

I know the Canberra Times will want to put a good news health story on the front page. I know WIN news will want to place this as their first item, and I know the ABC will run it with prominence. It might be one of the two stories the ABC devotes to Canberra when the numbers are formally released.

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