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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 1963..

Ms Gallagher: Rubbish!

MRS BURKE: It is not rubbish, and you know it.

Question put:

That standing orders be suspended.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10

Noes 7

Mr Barr

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Burke

Mr Smyth

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Dunne

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mr Mulcahy

Dr Foskey

Ms Porter

Mr Pratt

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Seselja

Question so resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (3.56): Mr Speaker, I move:

That Mrs Burke table before 6 pm today all evidence which she has claimed she has in her possession of equipment shortages at Canberra and Calvary Hospitals with all identifying information about individuals removed.

Mrs Burke has in recent times, in a number of press releases and a number of media interviews, made the allegation that both Canberra and Calvary hospitals have severe equipment shortages and that nurses are unable to access or find equipment in emergencies and for basic procedures. These are scurrilous allegations. They are outrageous allegations. They are allegations designed to test the faith of the people of Canberra in the security and professionalism of our hospitals and the level of care that they can expect to receive.

There is no more serious allegation than that our hospitals are not properly equipped, that they are ill-equipped, that staff do not have available to them the basic equipment they need to ensure the care and protection of people who seek to access Canberra and Calvary hospitals. These are serious and grave allegations.

There is a second level. If these allegations and this evidence prove, as Mrs Burke now repeatedly claims—she repeated her claim again today in her response to the motion that standing orders be suspended and willingly acknowledged that the evidence exists before giving her reason for her hesitation in tabling that evidence—that there is throughout the hospitals within specific wards an absence of vital equipment, then surely to goodness the hospital authorities need to know so that they

can respond to it. We need to know that in order that we can respond to the needs of patients.

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