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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3608 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

There was that little issue, Mr Stefaniak, of the determination by your federal colleagues to reduce health funding by $1 billion over the term of the next Australian health care agreement. You might want to reflect on that. You might want to reflect on the effect or impact of a reduction of $1 billion in health funding by your Liberal Party colleagues-not just on indigenous people but on all of us. You might want to reflect on that, as well as on the other issues to which we need to respond.

I wonder what those public servant appointees of the Commonwealth are doing engaging in, essentially, a political stoush with heads of government from around Australia. I guess there is an issue there to be addressed as well. Talk about politicising the public service! Talk about unleashing your public servants to do your political dirty work when you know you are in strife in relation to your commitment to health and the health of all Australians!

Mr Smyth: Like appointing media advisers!

MR STANHOPE: I have not read the article the member refers to, but I would assume Mr Woodward, in his comments, did not take account of the fact that each of the Labor leaders had quite explicitly-

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth, I have now called you to order twice, on the question of interjecting. I warn you.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I say, I have not read the article but I assume that Mr Woodward, in his overtly and quite obviously political comments and interjection into this matter, did not refer to the fact that each of the Labor premiers, before abandoning that meeting-and abandoning it for good reason-had committed to the course of action recommended in the COAG papers in relation to each of the other items, including the item you raise.

Hence, it is simply not right to suggest that the meeting was abandoned without other agenda items being dealt with. They were dealt with and they were dealt with explicitly by each of the Labor leaders. The eight heads of government dealt with them, committed to them and publicly confirmed their commitment to each of the actions in relation to every other agenda item at COAG, including that in relation to the status and wellbeing of indigenous children, and issues around violence and domestic violence in indigenous communities.

It is interesting to see a member of the Liberal Party daring to stand in any parliament of Australia and raise issues around indigenous wellbeing and reconciliation. Have a think about your commitment to indigenous issues, reconciliation, and the damage you and your colleagues have done to that cause in this nation.

Mrs Dunne: I wish to raise two points of order, Mr Speaker. When will the Chief Minister be brought to book-that, when somebody stands in this place to make a point of order, he should stop speaking and sit down?

MR SPEAKER: Get on with your point of order.

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