Page 3957 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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It is a travesty when we see the most elderly also suffer because this government allows only a very basic public transport system to operate as a sop to social welfare rather than anything approximating an efficient, accessible frequent public transport service. I have said before—and I have just been reminded again this week—somebody rang me and said, “I can only get a bus once every hour.” It is ridiculous to move the practice 4.8 kilometres and have one bus an hour. What a service that is!

Again and again in health, wherever anything goes wrong this minister whines, “We cannot do anything,” or, “It is not my fault,” or she says she will appeal to the federal health minister. We saw what result that had, did not we? She wrote a letter and tried to say we are a place of need and the federal health minister, Nicola Roxon, said, “No, you are not.”

It is pleasing to note, on that point, that the Liberals have released a sound policy, a real policy, to deliver real solutions to a real problem on which this government has failed, failed, failed. We have now the support of the federal government. They must know that there will be a change of government. From the federal health perspective, they are saying, “Of course we will work with the ACT in this regard,” on hearing about our policy. So they know a change is in the wind.

The commonwealth has helped to bail out this government as a result of its woeful record on elective surgery. But nothing can change the fact that, despite all the health minister’s posturing and attempts to denigrate me, the ACT under her watch is performing last or second last after the Northern Territory on every major performance indicator.

Time will not permit me to refer to the whole list. The list is so big, as I think Mr Barr said the other day. We have got big lists, too, Mr Barr. Public housing is another example. I could go on and on. The disability services side of things is another. I thank Mrs Dunne for bringing this on. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: The time for this discussion has expired.

Work Safety Bill 2008

Debate resumed.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.14): Extensive comments have been made on this bill by my colleague Mr Stefaniak. I think there are some proposals in the bill that are likely to have a significant impact on business in the ACT. There is one proposal in particular that places the ACT completely out of step with the rest of Australia. You have to remember, Mr Speaker, that this is at a time when COAG is currently working towards model and uniform OH&S laws. Perhaps the ACT should wait until the national approach has been agreed upon—but no, not this government.

Of course, it is not unusual for the Stanhope government to have regulatory regimes that are out of step with other jurisdictions. This seems to be the standard operating procedure for this government. Unfortunately, not only is this very disappointing for

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