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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) . . Page.. 2085 ..

on time in 2017-18 was 70 per cent; FOI documents show that in February 2018 only 44 per cent had been seen on time; and the budget reports an expected outcome for the year of only 50 per cent. Did you mislead the Assembly in your statements of 22 February 2018 and on previous occasions about improved performance on waiting times for elective surgery?

MS FITZHARRIS: No. Mr Parton has talked about elective surgery and emergency department waiting times. Particularly with emergency department and elective surgery wait times, there are a number of different measures, and I believe he has confused them in his question.

MR PARTON: Minister, when did you first become aware that our hospitals were unlikely to meet the target of 70 per cent of emergency department presentations seen on time?

MS FITZHARRIS: I will have to take that question on notice.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what action have you taken or will you take to ensure that you do not mislead the community about the performance of the hospital in emergency department waiting times in the future?

MS FITZHARRIS: I have not, and I have also said in this place that it is clear that there is significant progress that we need to make. Yesterday’s budget, of course, invested considerably in core public hospital services. One of its key aims is to bring down waiting times, but it is important to note that it is a whole-of-hospital investment in beds, in the emergency department, in emergency surgery, in the intensive care unit and in elective surgery right across the territory.

Domestic animal services—rangers

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. On 1 November 2017, only days after the tragic death of a woman in Watson following a dog attack, you released a statement which read in part, “The ACT government has already announced several measures to protect the community including doubling the number of animal rangers.” In an article in the Canberra Times on 12 January 2018, the operations manager of domestic animal services said that he now oversees eight rangers and that “eight new staff are coming on next month”. In the budget announced this week, there is funding for two new ranger positions to manage domestic dogs. Minister, has the number of animal rangers doubled since 1 November 2017?

MS FITZHARRIS: Yes, it has.

MS LAWDER: Minister, has the total number of DAS staff increased since 1 November 2017 and, if so, by how many?

MS FITZHARRIS: Yes, it has. As of last year, in October, there were 15 staff, eight of whom were dedicated rangers. There are currently 20 staff. Sixteen are now dedicated rangers.

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