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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 608..


Mr Smyth: On that basis, we—

MR SPEAKER: I am sorry, Mr Smyth, is there an issue?

Mr Smyth: I was talking to my leader.

MR HANSON: Minister, why did you wait for doctors to go to the media if you were aware that there was a long and troubled history in obstetrics and a 10-year war?

MS GALLAGHER: I did not wait to go to the media. I think the long and troubled history in obstetrics, as would be well known to anybody who spent any time looking at them, always appears to rise when vacancies are advertised at the Canberra Hospital. That seems to have been what has angered the doctors who went to the media last week. It seems to have inflamed those concerns.

But it appears, as far as I can see, they wrote to me on 21 and 22 December. I responded. I asked them to expand on their concerns. They chose not to do so. I do not know why they did not. I was in the process of arranging a meeting, to meet with them, when they had not responded on my return from leave. The story hit the media and the rest is history.

MR HANSON: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, when did you first become aware of this 10-year war and this long and troubled history in obstetrics?

MS GALLAGHER: My first real understanding of it was probably in 2005, when exactly these same issues were raised. I was not the Minister for Health at that time but there was an own-initiative investigation by the Health Complaints Commissioner, who looked into them and reported.

Water—Murrumbidgee to Googong pipeline

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Treasurer. You were present at an estimates committee on 18 May 2009 when Mr Sullivan, the Managing Director of Actew, provided incorrect information to the estimates committee on the cost of the Murrumbidgee-Googong pipeline. Mr Sullivan provided the correct advice to shareholders, including yourself, a few days later. The estimates committee was still active. Why did you take no action to correct the record when you had the correct information while the estimates committee was still sitting?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, under standing order 117(e), questions shall not refer to proceedings in a committee not yet published or anticipate the outcome of a committee inquiry. As we have just established a privileges committee into the exact matter to which you are referring, I will have to rule the question out of order.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, on your ruling, I seek your indulgence.


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