Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4099 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
We do know, however-and Mr Smyth has reinforced it today-that the Liberal Party has set targets. Mr Smyth has done it today with a five or six-page detailed list of targets that he thinks we should achieve over the next 18 months.
As far back as 1995, in their push for the 1995 election, we remember the targets that were set. Mrs Carnell said that the Liberals would cut waiting lists for surgery by 20 per cent within three years. We know that waiting lists went up and up, to the point where, at the time Mr Humphries was Minister for Health three years ago, there were 1,000 more on the waiting lists than there are now.
Mrs Carnell went on about other targets. At that time, she promised to immediately open 50 new public hospital beds and to have 1,000 beds in public hospitals by the year 2000. Of course, when the Liberals lost the election, there were about 600. They were 400 short of the target they set. They set a target of 1,000 public hospital beds by the year 2000 and delivered 600. They reduced the number by a couple of hundred over the term.
Other things were promised. Mrs Carnell also promised a long-stay convalescent facility.
Mr Humphries: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: this is terribly interesting, but the question is: what is the size of the waiting list?
MR SPEAKER: Order! Minister for Health, resume your seat. Mr Humphries, what was the point of order?
Mr Humphries: What does this have to do with the size of the waiting list?
Mr Quinlan: Context.
Mr Humphries: It is all context and no substance. Where is the answer?
MR STANHOPE: They promised a long-stay convalescent facility. We delivered, but they did not. They promised a paediatrics ward for non-acute cases, but we are still waiting for that. They promised a medical clinic, and we are waiting for that. They promised nursing homes. They were going to build new nursing homes in Tuggeranong and Belconnen and we are still waiting for those. In fact, it is what you would call a waiting list-we are all still waiting.
We see now the new Smyth blueprint-the six pages of detailed targets. On Mr Smyth's first day as Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, he tabled six pages of targets that are going to be achieved before June 2004. I have had indicative costings undertaken by the department of health, and I will have them confirmed by Treasury. The indicative costing by the head of the department of health is $200 million.
Brendan Smyth, on day one in the Assembly, wants to increase our expenditure of the entire budget by 10 per cent-$200 million on his first day in the office! That is responsible, measured leadership-real fiscal responsibility here from this new leader.-$200 million.