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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 581..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

Now, I know that the minister does not—

Ms Gallagher: Is that what you think, Brendan? That the Treasury analysis is disreputable?

MR SMYTH: No, you have simply said that nobody disputed your analysis, nobody has touched it. Well, I think that is a pretty damming indictment of it. If you want, I can read Tony Harris. If you extend my time to speak, I will read Tony Harris. Tony Harris, the man the Treasurer praised after estimates last year, outlines a number of ways, and it goes to the nub of what Ms Porter says—that is, that the minister examine all options available. There are a number of options put forward by Tony Harris. Now, these are the sorts of options that the minister must now look at having discarded them before. But the important thing in the conclusion of the Tony Harris advice is:

If some of these options seem to be a contrivance, although defensible and valid under Australian accounting standards, it is only because the fundamental premise that the government's direct funding of needed improvements to Calvary's capital assets weakens the government's credit rating is itself a contrivance.

Mr Harris, the man the Treasurer thought the estimates committee last year should have quoted more, the man the Treasurer last year said offered good advice, the man the Treasurer last year quoted herself because she thought it supported her case, says that what the Treasurer has delivered is a contrivance, and that is all it was. Go back to what Sinclair Davidson was saying. What is the government really trying to do here? They have picked the wrong option if it is to improve health in the ACT. What is Tony Harris saying? He is saying that it is a contrivance.

I think we need to look back at the agreement and the way health operates around this country where various governments fund capital works, some on a major scale, on properties they do not own. At the heart of it is that we have got a Treasurer who had no ideas. We have got a health minister who had no options but one, and we have got a motion from a member that says that the minister should look at other options. (Time expired.)

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (11.53): The government will be opposing the amendment proposed by Mr Hanson. Changes to paragraphs 1(a) to 1(c) appear to just change the tenor of the language from one of acknowledgement of this situation today and its budgetary implications that we have been discussing to one of negativity, which is their style of course and this is what we have seen continue today. This amendment does nothing to aid the debate, to add to the debate, to inform the debate, nor does it accurately describe the situation as it stands today.

The second part of the amendment suggests that the minister work with Little Company of Mary Health Care to enhance the health services of Calvary, yet it removes the words "to protect the investments made by the territory". This would suggest those opposite are happy for the government to continue to contribute to the


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