Page 4343 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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Having made those remarks on my understanding of the situation, I want to reflect on how this debate is perhaps about to proceed. I think Mr Hanson should reflect on both what he has already said and probably what he is about to say. The fact I and my office have researched this matter and come to a different conclusion to Mr Hanson is simply a different understanding of the facts and it does not mean I am not interested in holding the government to account; it does not mean I am not concerned about these issues. But a range of scenarios have been put forward here, and the information I have been able to ascertain is contained in my speech. That is the information that has been available to me and on which I have based my view with the assistance of my staff in looking at this issue. Having seen the motion on the notice paper yesterday, I had no contact from Mr Hanson until about 20 minutes ago, and to then try to characterise that along the lines of ”Now I’m in the ministry I don’t take these issues seriously” is not true. It simply reflects the fact that I have drawn a different conclusion, which I am perfectly entitled to do.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 9

Noes 8

Mr Barr

Ms Gallagher

Mr Coe

Ms Lawder

Ms Berry

Mr Gentleman

Mr Doszpot

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Ms Porter

Mrs Dunne

Mr Wall

Ms Burch

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Mrs Jones

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.39): Ms Gallagher accused me of making a stump speech and I accused her of making a stump speech, and I think we also heard one from Mr Rattenbury. Mr Rattenbury’s stump speech is, “I’ve looked at the issue. My office has looked at the issue, but I’m going to side with the government.” Regardless of what the issue is, that is, unfortunately, what we are seeing now from Mr Rattenbury. There was an opportunity here to put this issue to rest and to say that, regardless of whether you think the lists are being managed appropriately or not, there is sufficient evidence, sufficient concern, that this issue needs to be looked at. I do not think this would be a particularly extensive investigation or inquiry. I do not think it would take long and it would not take many resources, but it would certainly put this issue to rest. The fact that the government is so keen for this not to occur probably adds weight to the view that there is a genuine issue here at stake.

The issue that has been raised by the surgeons is that patients are being left to languish on lists waiting for surgery longer than they should while other patients, in essence, jump the queue because that makes the books look better. That is what has been alleged by surgeons. That is what has been alleged by the doctors group. And

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