Page 169 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 8 December 2004

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MR SPEAKER: Keep to the personal matter, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: His reflection was that I did not know the difference between capital and recurrent. It is quite clearly set out in policy documents. I will have to brief the minister if he wants me to. It is just a given that he was found to be and censured by the Assembly for being a persistent offender in misleading the Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: Order! That has got nothing to do with standing order 46.

Offensive language

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I seek your ruling. In concluding his answer to a question, Mr Hargreaves likened Mrs Burke to a banshee and I would seek your ruling whether that is appropriate language for the parliament and whether it should be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: I will take a look at Hansard at the first opportunity and report back.

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, if it is of any help, I offer an apology to the banshees.

MR SPEAKER: That will not help me in my deliberations.

Minister for Health—portfolio responsibilities

Ministerial statement

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning): I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement concerning my portfolio responsibilities as Minister for Health.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the purpose of my statement today is to outline some of the critical areas for development in the health portfolio during this second term of the Stanhope Labor government.

First, may I say how delighted I am to be able to continue as minister in this challenging but rewarding portfolio. Health is undoubtedly one of the most critical areas for any government, and I am aware of my responsibilities to the community. I became minister in December 2002 and since that time it has been my privilege to meet many of the excellent and dedicated health professionals working in our public health system, in the hospitals, in our health centres and out in the community. Whether they are performing intricate surgery or testing if your take-away food is safe to eat, our health professionals are the backbone of a healthy community, and its quality is testament to their skill and professionalism. We will continue, as a Labor government, to provide them with what they need to achieve even better health outcomes for the ACT community.

In this context, Mr Speaker, it makes sense for me to begin with that most critical of health policy issues, our work force. In line with the Health action plan 2002, part B, Building a sustainable work force, a major priority and goal of the government is the development of a new, strategic ACT Health work force plan. It is anticipated that the

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