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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (16 June) . . Page.. 2322..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

buildings, there will be no noticeable change to the provision of healthcare services to the community—regardless of who owns and operates either one of those facilities.

The discussions really have been focused on ensuring the long-term interests of the ACT community, because of the investments we need to make at Calvary Public Hospital. This goes directly to the questions I have been asked earlier around the business case and the support for this. On the money that we need to invest in that facility, the government is of the view that it is only right, with that significant investment, that that asset is owned and retained by the ACT community as one of our public assets, which at this point in time it is not.

Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, when and how are you going to consult with the community on the proposed sale of Calvary hospital?

MS GALLAGHER: The consultation is underway. I have received a few submissions, not many—it would not even exceed 10 submissions, from recollection—from interested community members and interested stakeholders. The business discussions are not around changing government service delivery, because the actual service delivery of Health Care will remain as it is. In fact, it will be enhanced with further injections, regardless of who owns or operates these facilities. At some point in time the government is elected to make decisions. We have been very clear about what our preference is. The community understands that and I have received some submissions on it.

There have been mixed views. I have received one from a parish church which is opposed to it. I have received some from community members who cannot believe we do not own the asset and that we have to buy it back. There have been some concerns around having the Catholic Church run the palliative care services for the territory. As we all know, they have been providing a tremendous service for many years now. I have to say that for such a public matter the people who are interested have been providing me with ideas and suggestions. I have to say that I have not received a submission from the Liberal Party or the ACT Greens yet about what their position is, but the door is open. If you ever do form a view on this let me know about it.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. What process will be undertaken to ensure that appropriate community and stakeholder feedback will be taken into consideration in the decision to purchase Calvary hospital?

MS GALLAGHER: If it gets to the point where we reach agreement on price, which is really, I think, at the heart of the negotiations—and they always are part of business negotiations like this—the government will be in a position to bring legislation before the Assembly. There will be appropriate scrutiny of that legislation. Pending that legislation passing for an appropriation of this type we would also consult with stakeholders about what it means for them. But I have to say, again, that for people on


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