Page 528 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008

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ACTION appreciates the community’s patience. The government thanks the community for the immense feedback it provided. Once finalised, ACTION will communicate the network plan to the community. Subject to the government agreement, ACTION plans to launch a new network and have the communication processes—that is, a distribution of timetables, signs, posters et cetera—completed in May.

This has been a particularly extensive consultation process and a genuine one. I have met with people who have come in groups to my office. I have been pleased to see them. We received their concerns and addressed them. And I, like many others out there, have spoken.

I have not been able to allay concerns caused by the misrepresentation of Mr Pratt and Mr Smyth out there in the electorate. They have been doing it together. Quite clearly, Mr Smyth is saying to people that route 769 in Calwell—he is whipping up a storm—has been removed. There is no such thing. There is a proposal on the table. It is disingenuous of these people to suggest that. I could not believe it when I saw this sort of thing—the puppet master Mr Smyth with the Pinocchio of Mr Pratt going out into the community and frightening them.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves, refer to members by their proper titles.

MR HARGREAVES: All right then, both of the—I will refer to both of them; I am trying to comply with the direction—

Mr Pratt: Point of order, Mr Speaker: just to take that issue one step further, there is imputation as well. The Pinocchio bit would indicate lying.

MR SPEAKER: I have ruled on it.

MR HARGREAVES: No; it refers to a wooden puppet, Mr Speaker. I will refer to them as the members for Brindabella for the time being. What is really upsetting is that the people—genuinely engaged in a consultation process to tell us how something is affecting them—are being frightened by the misinformation that these people are putting out there. I sincerely wish they would stop. If you want to criticise the network, wait until it is finished; don’t do it halfway. You are perpetuating the story and you are both making fools of yourselves.

Hospitals—emergency department

MRS DUNNE: Minister, on 14 February this year in the Assembly, regarding the performance of emergency departments in Canberra’s hospitals, you said:

Anyone who stands here needs to be honest and say these things take time, and I have said that time and time again.

I think that is called the Pantene excuse, Mr Speaker. Minister, how many more times must the people of Canberra hear you tell them that it will take time to fix the problems in the emergency departments of our hospitals?

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