Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 3087..
MR PRATT (continuing):
their clients, to communicate with community leaders and to communicate with this place about what is going to happen? That, of course, did not occur at all.
In fact, this rather reminds me of the attitude expressed by those involved in the power station issue: business takes precedence over everything else. I remind this house that in planning and development practices—this surely must apply to the way that a business conducts itself, and I here again refer in particular to the practice in terms of the way it conducts itself—the community principle and the environmental principle need to be taken into consideration at all times when business decisions are taken.
I would like to see the owners of this practice certainly brought before an inquiry of this place to discuss what has happened and why it has happened. I think clearly we see a bipartisan attitude for wanting to see that happen. I personally would like to see whether there is something in the planning and leasing arrangements relative to this practice. Perhaps this Assembly might be able to advise the ministers concerned that there are things that can be done to ensure that whatever steps can be taken to at least replace the lost medical capability is returned to that particular place.
I think this has been a very sad piece of work on the part of the practice concerned. I congratulate Mrs Burke for having brought this matter to the notice of this place. I congratulate Ms Porter in her role as deputy chair of the health committee quite quickly showing a willingness to open up the capacity of that committee to have a look at this matter as well. Well done, and let us see where it goes from here.
MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (5.31), in reply: I thank colleagues very much for their support and for their comments. I think that the people of Canberra obviously will be very warmed to know that on some occasions we do come together in a very cooperative and supportive way, particularly on issues that really are going to impact upon a great deal of people in the Tuggeranong Valley.
I think that what we have seen from this company is that they have done it because they can. I think that Dr Foskey alluded at some point to the fact that they had done this elsewhere, and indeed they have. In fact, it was in the Belconnen area. We then have to ask ourselves what area will be next. We really need to know from these people what their long-term plan is. I did have a lengthy conversation with the principal of PHC and I am left really unconvinced that this is beneficial to the community.
There was almost the suggestion: "Well, what are you asking me for—a GP on every corner, as the saying would go?"I said to him, "People move to Canberra because of the nature, the place and the way that Canberra is."We move here because of the easy access to things within our community—local shopping centres and services that are near and readily accessible.
I did think about this. I thought about what I could do. I thought about what I would do if I were health minister in this situation, and I decided to act. This is why I brought this motion forward today. I thought it was the least that we could do to all pull together to try and get some answers for the people of Tuggeranong who are left floundering and wondering why this happened.