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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 161..


Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital

MR HANSON: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, on 17 December 2009, you issued a press release which stated:

But no one has been able to dispute the Treasury Analysis.

This is in reference to the Cavalry hospital purchase. Treasurer, Professor Sinclair Davidson was able to dispute your analysis on 28 October 2009—prior to your making that statement—when he said:

The argument that the ACT Government should maximise the value of assets on its own balance sheet is quite simply nonsense. It is the function of Government to provide services to its citizens and to do so in the most cost-effective manner.

This analysis was backed up by Dr Terry Dwyer, who has a PhD in economics, on 15 November 2009. Mr Tony Harris, a former auditor-general of New South Wales, has also described the fundamental premise of the analysis as a contrivance. Treasurer, do you now accept that your government's analysis of the purchase has been disputed by experts? If not, why not?

MS GALLAGHER: I did see Mr Hanson's excitement at getting the analysis from Tony Harris yesterday. He ran over to the leader of the boys group and quickly showed him all the lines. In fact, I could have highlighted "contrivance"for him, because I predicted it. I watched you go and sit over there in your little boys brigade, high-five each other, slap, and go, "How exciting! Now we've really got her."

Mr Smyth: Answer the question. You're not answering the question.

MS GALLAGHER: Just to give a bit of background, I think I was not the only person in here watching the little excited boys on the public benches.

Mr Stanhope: High fives?

Ms GALLAGHER: Yes, there was a bit of high-fiving, a bit of fists, a bit of "go get her!"Sorry, Mr Speaker; I am just supplying context to the discussion. The point which I have been making is that nobody has been able to dispute the fact that, under the three models, there is a $145 million improved outcome on our budget, according to the Treasury analysis, and nobody has been able to dispute that.

Mr Smyth: But there are other experts.

MS GALLAGHER: No, there are other opinions about policy decisions the government should have taken.

Mr Smyth: It's just an opinion; therefore it doesn't count.

MS GALLAGHER: You are accusing me of being wrong. Let us just understand what has happened here. There are other opinions about policy decisions the


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