Page 1192 - Week 03 - Thursday, 31 March 2011

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MR HARGREAVES: My question to the minister is: minister, did you tell the truth in terms of the number of beds in the Canberra Hospital and did you tell the truth in terms of the amount of beds that were reduced by those opposite?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. The health system reports more than any other government agency against a range of performance indicators. Those reports are provided quarterly. Those reports are provided on the internet. Those reports are widely promoted. And the reason for doing that is to ensure the community understands the performance of our health system.

Part of my job is to make sure that the community has confidence in the public health system and confidence in the service that it provides.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hanson.

MS GALLAGHER: People’s lives are saved every day in those hospitals—

Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I ask you to ask Mr Hanson to withdraw the statement that the minister misled anything. It should be the subject of a substantive motion. I heard him quite clearly say that Ms Gallagher is misleading.

Mr Hanson: On the point of order, my interjection was that the minister had misled the community. I therefore do not believe there is a point of order.

MR SPEAKER: Having not heard the comment, unless there is any further commentary, there is no point of order. Ms Gallagher, you have the call.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I note that we try not to respond to interjections in this place and I note that my merely standing to my feet seems to elicit everyone over on that side having to open their mouth and to shout.

The issue here is that lives are saved every single day in that hospital, and I do not resile from my job in making sure that people understand what is going on in that hospital. I do it every day. I do it repeatedly. I do it in meetings. I do it in media. I do it on my visits to the different facilities.

I have never hidden from the fact that the health system requires continuous improvement. I think if anyone goes back and has a look at who has had what to say about areas for improvement in the health system, they would find that I, perhaps, have had the most to say about that and, indeed, I am doing the most about it to fix it.

Environment—proposed tax

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment has proposed that a new tax be imposed on the

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