Page 1045 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 16 March 2005

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When one looks at the health performance report for the December quarter 2004-2005, it shows: for category 1, percentage of patients in ED seen within the standard timeframes, target of 100 per cent. Yes, it was 100 per cent for December. For category 2, 80 per cent was the target. For the December quarter it was 74 per cent. For category 3, the target was 75 per cent. It was 47 per cent. Similarly, for category 4, the target was 75 per cent. It was 46 per cent. For category 5, not too bad, the target was 85 per cent. It was 84 per cent. Especially when you look at category 3 and category 4, that is a huge discrepancy on the target. It just shows a system in crisis and a minister who is just not handling it properly and who deserves to be censured.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (11.13): This is simple base politics. It is an irrelevance and a misuse, I think, of the time of the Assembly to be seeking to censure a minister in the circumstances that the Liberal Party is here. It is nothing but the cheapest expression of political opportunism that you would expect to see of a grovelling, grasping and struggling opposition—an opposition that was trounced in an election, an opposition that is desperately seeking to establish some credibility within the community, after the worst defeat imaginable just five months ago, an opposition that campaigned on the basis of “vote as if your life depended on it”.

As I previously said: the motto of the Liberal Party in October last year was “vote as if your life depends on it”. And, goodness me, Mr Speaker, didn’t the people of Canberra respond to that invitation: “vote as if your life depends on it”. They certainly did; they voted for a government they knew they could trust. They voted for a Minister for Health they knew they could trust to continue to provide to the people of Canberra the best health system in Australia. The sad part about the cheap political opportunism inherent in this debate is that it is about an opposition, a Liberal Party, that has absolutely no credibility—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: I order the members of the opposition to cease their interjections. Everybody to this point has sat reasonably quietly and listened to the debate.

MR STANHOPE: It is an opposition that is struggling for credibility, for credence, for any respect in the minds and the hearts, and certainly in the voting hand, of the people of Canberra. They were abandoned in legion on that wonderful election day motto of “vote as if your life depends on it”—and how that came home, and how we see it reflected in the views and the minds of the people of Canberra, their attitude and their understanding of just how incompetent the opposition are and how undeserving they are of government.

What did the people of Canberra do? They returned majority government to the Labor Party—first time ever. The people of Canberra knew what they were doing. They were awake to the opposition. They knew the opposition was incompetent and undeserving of government. They invested in us their confidence, to the extent that they accorded us that enormous honour of majority government for the first time since self-government has been vested in the people of the Australian Capital Territory. They did it on the basis of our record. They did it on the basis of their deep understanding that this was a

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