Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4329 ..
MR CORNWELL (continuing):
I also remain very unhappy about the fact that, on the morning of the day this matter was set down for debate, the review should suddenly appear in my office. Obviously it appeared in other people's offices as well, although I think Ms Dundas indicated it turned up in her office yesterday. That is interesting. How come you get 24 hours notice and I don't?
Mr Stanhope: When did you ask for it, Greg?
MR CORNWELL: I didn't ask for it at all. That is what made me very suspicious. I didn't think it existed. I was not even sure it was available. This is the interesting point. I wonder when Ms Tucker was given a copy.
The fact is, of course, that it was obviously not part of the government's intention to provide this report to people like the Council on the Ageing or Carers ACT, or indeed the gentleman who was interviewed on one of the television news programs. The Chief Minister talked about there being 29 clients and their carers at one age-care facility and 35 at another. This must have been the numbers before 26 November, which is only just a little while ago.
Chief Minister, I felt tonight that you were controlled and perhaps embarrassed about what is happening, and I don't blame you. It is not an easy decision.
I am concerned about the question of moving-and Ms Tucker referred to this-dementia patients. Why do you want to move dementia patients if you are talking about upgrading facilities at both Dickson and Narrabundah? There is an opportunity to design one dementia specific unit; and this is referred to on page 29 of your own report. Why can't you leave these people there? I am sorry but obviously these things are not going to be supported by the Assembly.
Ms Dundas made the comment-I think Ms Tucker made the same point; correct me if I am wrong, ladies-that she felt another review was not a sensible idea. I do not want to destroy the work that has been done. Chief Minister, I want to build upon the review that you brought down in March 2002 and I want to involve the community.
Earlier today when speaking about the health action plan you said that consumers had been ignored by my colleague Mr Smyth. I would suggest to you that you have ignored the consumers in relation to this report.
Mr Stanhope: That was the $200 million debate, was it, Greg?
MR CORNWELL: I am not interested in $200 million. What I am interested in is a bit of decent social interaction for elderly vulnerable people. It will not cost $200 million. All it will cost is a bit of commonsense and a bit of compassion-a bit of compassion from a government that maintains that it is compassionate.
Mr Stanhope: You will be able to use a bit of that $200 million for this.