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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (23 February) . . Page.. 478..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

ABC TV. I think I had better leave it at that and allow a bit of natural justice here, which has not been followed, I do not think, in any way, shape or form over the last week.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Minister, given the allegations relating to this issue, did you deem it necessary for any sort of external review or inquiry at the time of the incident?

MS GALLAGHER: When I became aware of the matter, as reported, I sought advice from my department. I am satisfied that there is an alternative perspective which needs to be put. I would also say that, on any measure of any data available—and I include through the college, RCOG, and through the Australian Women's Hospital Alliance—Canberra Hospital has excellent clinical outcomes. And they have been improving every year. I have no reason to doubt the clinical standards or safety of that unit. I think the allegations, as they have been raised, have affected the reputation of that unit unfairly because certainly the data as presented—and if anyone goes and takes the time to have a look at it, including caesarean rates, including the level 3 and level 4 tears for women, vaginal birth after caesarean—if you have a look at that, you will see that the Canberra Hospital performs to the highest standards, comparable to any hospital in the country.

From time to time, there will be clinical incidents. Those will be reported. They are reported. There is a process in the hospital for that to occur. From time to time, patients will not be happy with the level of care they have received. Then it is appropriate that those matters be investigated but that they are investigated fairly and all the facts are on the table, not just one side, which is what has occurred over the past week.

Parking—spaces

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and concerns the greater Canberra city area action plan. Minister, the plan proposes building 3,300 new public car park spaces in Civic over the next six years. How is this consistent with the plan's stated goal of the majority of workers in Canberra city travelling there by foot, bike, public transport or car pooling?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. I would highlight at the outset that the plan is a discussion paper. It was produced very much with a mind to being used as the basis of a broad discussion with all interested parties and indeed with all stakeholders. In the context of the heart of our city, I think the stakeholder group is indeed the entire ACT population. I emphasise that this is a document that was crafted, designed, deliberately as a conversation starter, as a basis for discussion. Of course the government will welcome very much the views that you have, Ms Le Couteur, and that everybody in this place has around the issues that are raised. In the context of the issue that you go to—the question of parking and an assessment of parking needs within the city—it needs to be looked at in the context of other potential goals in terms of population that are also raised in the discussion paper.


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