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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 12 hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 4425..


MR HANSON (continuing):

various agreements and supplementary agreements. I have put that forward for the Auditor-General to examine. If you read the op-ed there are some very detailed points put forward in terms of the analysis of those from a legal point of view. So I think that all of the aspects of this proposal can be put forward to the Auditor-General for independent examination and I call on the support of the Assembly in doing so.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Services and Minister for Women) (11.39): I thank Mr Hanson for the motion. The government will not be supporting this motion today. This motion is all about trying to get the Auditor-General to do what, when I read the motion, is a job that the opposition should be doing themselves if they have these concerns. The clear strategy of the Liberal opposition—and I think this has been outlined in an editorial that was not read out by Mr Hanson—is to delay this sale to the point where, they hope, it falls off the government's agenda. Well, that is not going to happen.

Mr Hanson: If you are going to quote from a paper—

MS GALLAGHER: I am not quoting directly from the paper.

Mr Hanson: You said it was in an op-ed.

MS GALLAGHER: It was in an article written by Jack Waterford on the Saturday after the announcement was made. There were comments in that editorial that the Liberal Party were going to seek to delay this proposal. And I think we see the first—

Mr Hanson: No, I think that is incorrect and I will look forward to your retraction.

MS GALLAGHER: We all disagree with things that are written in the paper from time to time, Mr Hanson, but that was written there. I think we see the first example of this in this motion today.

I think it is important that we also understand the role of the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General's position is not one which should determine public policy in the ACT. The Auditor-General has a very clear role, and what this motion seeks to ask the Auditor-General to do—let alone politicising the role of the Auditor-General in what is a genuine debate on matters of public policy—is to become the decision maker about whether or not this is a deal that the opposition should support. I challenge the opposition to actually come up with a view all by themselves on this. Do you believe that the public hospital system in the ACT should be owned and managed by the ACT government or do you think that the public hospital system in the ACT should remain under the status quo? That is a simple question that you guys need to answer. We have put the information on the table.

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: From all the squealing from the other side, we understand that there is some personal difficulty for members of the Liberal opposition in rationalising what is in the interests of the general ACT community. We understand that. We understand there must be some very strong debates going on within your


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