Page 1494 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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Of all the ministers, we find Mr Corbell is the most constant in doing this. This is the minister for spin, this is the minister who twists and turns on the numbers, this is the minister who just tells the Assembly things. For instance, yesterday he said, “We are doing more elective surgery.” He just stands up here and blatantly says, “We are doing more elective surgery.” Yet his own reports for Calvary, for the year to date, show that there is 13 per cent less elective surgery.

I think that, in all of the areas in which we look at the performance of this minister, we find a minister who is not performing well in his duties. This is a minister who is not worthy of the confidence of this Assembly. That is why this Assembly is moving this motion of no confidence in the minister today.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.05): I think people can see that I have found this whole episode rather upsetting. It certainly goes against everything that I thought was integral to integrity in politics.

Mrs Dunne: It is about not doing deals.

DR FOSKEY: Mrs Dunne will know that I have been absolutely open throughout this process. I find it offensive that conversations I have had with members are then used, apparently. I am aware, Mrs Dunne, that you were not recording our conversation, so I do not know how accurate the record was, but that is not the point.

I guess I have come to this place with a way of doing politics that is about openness and transparency. It is not a lesson I want to learn—I do not want to learn that I cannot talk to the Liberals in this place without its being turned against me in some way—and yet this is the lesson of this morning. I have been very open with Mr Corbell. I went to see him when I heard, at the same time as Mrs Dunne did—I am not into plotting behind people’s backs—and I put the situation to him.

Mrs Burke: Nobody said you were plotting.

DR FOSKEY: I am sorry, I do not respect that, Mrs Burke. If you could listen to me; this is my turn, thank you.

MR SPEAKER: Order, please!

DR FOSKEY: I do not want to be looking as though I am barracking for Labor, either. In my position in this house I am representing the Greens. It was important to me to be on that committee because I could see, if I did not get on that committee this year, four years ahead, a precedent being set and always being outside the processes.

The fact is that we do have a majority government. We do not like it, Liberals, but it is here. I am a party of one person in this house; nonetheless, I represent everybody who voted for me and I believe I represent the people who voted for the Greens in other electorates as well. Not only that, but I have seen in my time here that I have a very important role to play. I speak to groups that a lot of you people do not speak to as yet whose perspectives need to come to this house. I hope that will change, but it is the same with the government.

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