Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 May 2018) . . Page.. 1537 ..
hospital system is in crisis or not, and clearly they do not believe reports like, “My baby nearly died.” (Extension of time granted.)
The minister covers a myriad of city services from mowing and car parks to dangerous dogs. She has responsibilities for what is being called the largest infrastructure project our city has ever seen. She has a crucial job trying to provide leadership to our health service. It is not fair on the people of Canberra that she is not able to dedicate the time to our health system while she is flitting from one hard-hat photo opportunity to another and leaving our hospital system in crisis.
It is not enough, Minister Fitzharris, to paint a better picture for staff and patients. What is actually needed is systemic change to support our hardworking health staff. It is not good enough to deny, to dismiss, to disclaim what is being said by our health staff. I call on the Assembly to support our community. Whether you feel you are supporting Mrs Dunne’s motion or not, support our community, support our doctors, midwives, nurses and other health professionals to take action today in supporting this motion of no confidence against the health minister.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.18), in reply: To conclude, I go back to where I left off. Today we saw not the minister responding to the motion but the minister going about her work of delivering a ministerial statement. She admitted it: “I was going to deliver a ministerial statement, and you got in the way of it, so I will deliver a ministerial statement.” She spoke for upwards of 20 minutes about all the things that reinforce what is in this motion. She went through this motion item by item, (a) to (l), and addressed the issues.
Everything that Mr Coe said is correct. There is nothing in this motion which is incorrect. There is nothing in this motion that can be gainsaid or denied by the government. This list of failings of this minister are enough for her to go. Her 20-plus minutes of saying, “I am working on this; I am working on that; we are doing the other thing,” only reinforces the extent to which she has lost the plot.
ACT Health is in crisis. And, like a fish, it rots from the head down. The crisis has been caused by this minister and her failings. Her 20-plus-minute pseudo ministerial statement today only reinforces the reasons why the Canberra Liberals have brought forward this motion today. To reflect on the words of Ms Lawder: this Assembly owes it to the people of Canberra and the region, and the health workers of Canberra to remove this minister today. These people deserve better. They pay for better and they should be getting better.
The minister’s response today is absolutely and utterly classically the minister’s response. Her approach is to parrot what the bureaucrats say to her. She has been, as I have consistently said, the minister for plausible deniability—“I was not briefed. I did not know,” et cetera. And here we have it today: a twenty-plus-minute ministerial statement that confirms everything that the opposition said in their motion and highlights exactly the extent of her failings.
How many ministerial statements have we listened to from this minister since October 2016? I have lost count. It is always, “We are going to do better in the future.” Why