Page 624 - Week 02 - Thursday, 6 March 2008

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SES, the ACT Fire Brigade and the ACT Ambulance Service have all worked through and are now implementing their business plans.

Mr Pratt: That was not the context of the discussion, and you know it.

MR CORBELL: You were not there, Mr Pratt, so you do not know. I am frustrated that the RFS has not yet implemented its business plan because I think that until that is done the RFS is not able to provide the full level of support it should, and needs to, provide to volunteers in the RFS, to the voluntary brigades and to everyone else who has a role in the RFS. I indicated at that meeting that I want to see it done as soon as possible because I think that only then will we be in the position to provide the support that is needed to the RFS volunteers and their brigades. I indicated further that the RFS has been provided with additional assistance by the ESA in the form of a consultant to assist in the finalisation of that business plan and that that business plan is also being aided by the chair of the ACT Bushfire Council, who has indicated to me his support for that process.

So I think it would be very fair to say that I did express concerns that, of all of the four emergency services, only one is yet to complete its business plan. That is the RFS, and that is a fact. I said, “That needs to be fixed and I want it fixed.” The reason I want it fixed is that I want to make sure the RFS knows clearly what its business operations are to be this financial year and next financial year and that it is able to get on and deliver the projects that the government has funded it to deliver for volunteers in the field and for the service as a whole. I indicated that the ESA had provided additional resources to the RFS to allow for a consultant to be engaged to assist the RFS with that work and I said, “I look forward to seeing the outcomes of that because I want it done. I want it done.” Now, that is pretty clear and unambiguous, I would have thought. That is what I said in the meeting. I did not say anything else.


MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Health. Minister, yesterday you referred to the AMA publication Public hospital report card 2007 as an election campaign stunt. This report was based on data compiled from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. Minister, why did you suggest that data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing was a stunt?

MS GALLAGHER: I did not. I said the AMA report card was part of a political stunt.

MRS BURKE: Why would you criticise the AMA report for highlighting the very poor performance of the Stanhope government in managing elective surgery and access to emergency departments?

MS GALLAGHER: I merely outlined my view of where the motivations behind the federal AMA’s report card rested. It was part of a federal election campaign. They did not speak to the jurisdictions.

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