Page 237 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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We all heard the minister speak at question time about how there is a preventative health task force in place and that she does actually have a preventative health strategy—or almost. When she was asked about the health promotion grants, she made the statement that we will be able to evaluate and measure whether that is having any impact on our preventative health strategy and improving health.

So she tells the Assembly that we have a preventative health strategy. There was a bit of across the chamber chatter, which of course, Madam Speaker, you would not allow. But Mr Hanson then poses the question:

You have a preventative health task force, have you? You have a preventative health strategy?

Ms Gallagher said:

We do, Mr Hanson. The work has been under development—

In fact, by her own admission earlier in the piece the Chief Minister misled the Assembly by claiming something that she did not have—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth! You just used the words that the Chief Minister misled the Assembly. That can only be done by a substantive motion. I am going to ask you to withdraw.

MR SMYTH: We will think about that. But the Chief Minister claims something—

MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, I asked you to withdraw.

MR SMYTH: The Chief Minister claimed something that does not exist. There is no preventative health strategy and there is no preventative health task force. Members, if you go onto the website for ACT Health and you type in the words “preventative health strategy” or “preventative health task force” three reports are found, or three references are found, in other documents. But there is no such strategy and there is no such task force.

I thought, Madam Speaker, that it is my poor IT skills. The minister, in her desperation, said, “Yes, Tony Stubbs is on that.” So I thought that I would enter “Tony Stubbs” into the ACT Health website. It does not appear. So I thought that perhaps it comes under Chief Minister. So I put it into the ACT government website, and Tony Stubbs is found in one reference for the GP task force, I think from 2009.

So it does not exist. It is a fantasy. After 11 years of failure, the government is currently working on it. That is why the amendment that I have circulated is very important. I move the amendment circulated in my name:


“(3) calls on the ACT Government to establish an ACT Preventative Health Taskforce; and

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