Page 2539 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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Mr Smyth: I withdraw.

MR CORBELL: That is what Mr Mulcahy is saying. At the same time, Mr Smyth is saying, “Spend more.” He is still persisting—

Mr Smyth: When? I did not say that.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I warn you.

MR CORBELL: He is still persisting with his claim that he wants to put in place 100 extra beds in our hospital system—a flawed promise, rejected by the people of Canberra at the last election. As my colleague Mr Stanhope says, the Liberals said, “Vote like your life depended on it.” They did; they didn’t depend on you for their lives; they voted for a government that had a realistic and sensible plan to address issues in our public hospital system.

We had Mr Smyth again on the radio this morning saying, “I will put extra beds into the system. I will put 100 beds into the system.” Mr Ross Solly of the ABC said, “Oh, that’s a bit unrealistic, isn’t it?” So Mr Smyth changed his mind. “I will put 70 beds into the system.” What is next—50 beds, 30 beds? What is Mr Smyth going to do next?

This is the contradiction from the Liberal Party: they do not have a coherent policy around health expenditure. They criticise the government for spending too much and then they say, “Put more resources in.” They cannot have it both ways.

Human rights

DR FOSKEY: Mr Speaker, I ask the Attorney-General a question. Given that at the forum “Assessing the First Year of the ACT Human Rights Act” yesterday concerns were raised that the process of determining the compatibility of bills before the Assembly with the Human Rights Act is not transparent and that only the results of such determinations are documented, will the Attorney-General review the process to increase transparency and put opinion regarding the compatibility on the public record.

MR STANHOPE: I thank Dr Foskey for the question. I must say, Dr Foskey, I was not aware that that particular issue had been raised at the forum yesterday. I know it is a matter of some concern and some discussion within the community and amongst those who are taking a very direct, though I must say, broad interest in the Human Rights Act and its operation. It is an issue that I am very aware of. In fact, it is an issue that I have discussed with my colleagues. The utility of the compatibility statement in the form that it currently exists has been a matter of some comment within the Labor Party and within the government.

One of the issues we face is, as always, an issue of resources and resourcing. I have been mindful to ensure that in regard to the reasonably limited resources that we have been able to apply to the implementation of the Human Rights Act, we focus on those areas of greatest priority. To date they have been around a range of educational programs, particularly for decision makers and public officers and officials—those who are

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