Page 2531 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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component of care that exists in all those small rural and regional hospitals. It is worth taking that into account in looking at the bed number figures.

Another issue worth highlighting is Mr Smyth’s claim in his political argument that the government’s reforms and restructures of the health system are responsible for the ACT system being more expensive to run per head of population than the systems of other states and territories. I do not know whether Mr Smyth ever noticed it when previous Liberal governments or previous Labor governments were responsible for the health system, but unfortunately it has been a matter of historical legacy that our system has always, regrettably, cost more to run than those of other jurisdictions. It always has. That is not to say that that is acceptable. The point I am making is that the administrative arrangements do not link to the additional cost per head of population. Under the purchaser/provider system of the Liberal Party, it still cost more than the national average. So let us just debunk that argument for the nonsense that it is and focus on real ways of getting that cost down.

The final point I would like to make is about Mr Smyth’s assertion concerning waiting list figures. He said that there is a date when waiting list figures should be available. Mr Smyth even went so far as to read out a resolution of the previous Assembly. It is not a resolution that has any effect in this Assembly.

Mrs Dunne: Oh, it does not have a continuing effect!

MR CORBELL: It does not have a continuing effect. It was a resolution of a previous Assembly. I did not hear anywhere in that resolution that there was a date. There was not even a day of the month. There was just an assertion that the information was made available to members. Guess what, Mr Speaker? The information is. Mr Smyth can propagate this sort of misleading assertion all he likes, but it is simply that, misleading, because there is no set date.

Mr Seselja: I take a point of order. Mr Corbell has just said that Mr Smyth has been misleading the Assembly. I would ask for him to withdraw that.

MR SPEAKER: No, he never said that. He just said that he made some misleading comments.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, can I have your ruling? Is it correct to say that “misleading assertion” is fine?

MR SPEAKER: I have just ruled. He said that he had has made some misleading comments. He has not said that he has misled the Assembly.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, on the point of order that Mr Seselja made: Mr Corbell said that Mr Smyth made a statement in this place, and then he went on to say that it was a misleading assertion.

MR SPEAKER: I will check Hansard. I have to say that I think that I am being verballed here, but I will check Hansard and report back. I will find out exactly what was said.

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