Page 482 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Under standing order 118 (b), the minister cannot debate the question; he must answer why the number has dropped from $90 three years ago to $54. He has not answered the question.

MR SPEAKER: He has to deal with the subject matter of the question. And he has five minutes to do it.

MR HARGREAVES: The Leader of the Opposition pops up to run his points of order. All I can say is: I will not indulge in your number crunching at 50 paces; I will not do it. I am quite happy to talk about the way in which crime in this town has been tackled—how it is being beaten—compared to other jurisdictions. I will not say to you, “Why has it gone down?” Maybe it is because not as much money is being spent on activity; maybe we are doing a better job than you did when you had stewardship of it; perhaps we are using the money better than you did. That is because you, Mr Smyth, were an ineffectual minister.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. How can the minister claim that Labor is improving resources for police, when the Productivity Commission shows, quite clearly, that in the past three years money spent on criminal investigations has dropped from $90 to $54?

MR HARGREAVES: Because the rates of criminal activity have gone down. Over the past twelve months, most of the criminal activities in this town have gone down in double digit figures.

Aged care accommodation

DR FOSKEY: Mr Speaker, there won’t be quite as much fun and games in my question. It is to the Chief Minister. Mr Hargreaves, you can relax. This question relates to this government’s response to concerns that residents in nursing homes have suffered retribution for complaining about the quality of their care.

The Chief Minister announced on 4 February that the ACT’s elder abuse task force would investigate the retribution claims. Yet the ABC reported yesterday that the government had opted not to investigate, in its response to the Legislative Assembly—

Ms MacDonald: I seek your ruling on this, Mr Speaker. The government’s response to the committee of the Fifth Assembly’s report came out yesterday. Debate was actually adjourned.

MR SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

Ms MacDonald: Is Dr Foskey allowed to ask a question when it is yet to be debated in the Assembly?

DR FOSKEY: Let’s call this the start of that debate then. I do have a question. I am sorry there is a little bit of a preamble. Without this preamble, the question has no context.

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