ACT Question Time: elective surgery groundhog day

Barely an hour after the Chief Minister dropped his public service bombshell the members of the ACT Legislative Assembly gathered in the chamber to watch the Liberals grill Health Minister Katy Gallagher over elective surgery […]

Barely an hour after the Chief Minister dropped his public service bombshell the members of the ACT Legislative Assembly gathered in the chamber to watch the Liberals grill Health Minister Katy Gallagher over elective surgery waiting lists.

It was the first Question Time of the year and there we all were, edges of our seats, thrilled to hear the rabble rising.

The Liberal Party want Gallagher to apologise for 200 odd patients being downgraded on electoral surgery waiting lists, which have three categories, life threatening, serious pain and ‘can wait a year’.

Gallagher says that doctors have admitted to putting patients in category one so they were seen sooner and changing categories without signing off.

But, she says they’ve had words and 10,000 operations have taken place without categorising problems in the last year.

The Liberal Party have pushed the elective surgery waiting lists since mid 2010 and money says they’re going to censure Gallagher tomorrow, arguing she is an incompetent minister.

“It’s like Groundhog Day,” Gallagher said of her opponents line of questioning this afternoon.

“I know an urgent censure motion is coming, bring it on!”

We’ll have to wait till tomorrow for that, but in the meantime the Greens asked some serious questions about outsourcing private security guards at Bimberi Youth Detention Centre – a Territory facility already under review – that Minister Joy Burch was not really on top of.

“She’s not answering the question!” Liberal MLA Brendan Smyth shouted from across the bench.

An interesting Caroline Le Couteur moment ocurred midQT when the Greenie asked the Chief what he was doing about peak oil in the ACT.

It should be pointed out our own urban planning guru Greg Mews was all over peak oil yesterday, but the Chief wasn’t much for it and took the question on notice, stating it’s an important issue and the government is working hard on sustainable transport.

Alistair Coe heckled Le Couteur saying his constituents haven’t brought up peak oil with him, which is interesting since he’s the shadow for transport and all transport in the ACT runs on oil.

At the very end Labor Whip John Hargreaves asked the inevitable Hawke Review dixer and Stanhope redelivered his lunchtime speech.

Ahh, school’s back.

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