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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 620..


Motion ( (continuing):

That the Member so nominated be appointed as a member of the Select Committee on Privileges 2010.

Hospitals—services

Debate resumed.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (3.29), by leave: Mr Speaker, I will be brief. The comments that were made by Mr Stanhope in speaking to Ms Porter's motion demand a response. It was an attack, a vilification, directed towards Mrs Dunne. The point is that there have been significant allegations of a toxic workplace culture. These are not Mrs Dunne's words; these are words from others connected to the allegations about what has occurred at Canberra Hospital.

Today, in this Assembly, Ms Gallagher said that there had been a 10-year war at obstetrics at Canberra Hospital and that there has been—and I will find the quote—"a long and troubled history in obstetrics". We also have a situation where nine doctors, that is, four registrars and five obstetricians, have left the Canberra Hospital.

I think there are legitimate concerns that Mrs Dunne raised in debate and for the Chief Minister to try to draw the bow that any criticism or concern raised by Mrs Dunne about a government service—in this case, an area in Canberra Hospital—is somehow a broad attack on health staff is patently ridiculous. And I want it put on the record that it is a wild assertion and it is characteristic of Mr Stanhope. Rather than listen to the points of fact and present reasoned debate, his normal tactic is to attack the person, to play the man and not the ball. He is hiding behind the public service.

He is blaming the doctors by saying in his speech that the Canberra Liberals are being used. We are not being used. We have listened to a broad range of complaints at Canberra Hospital, arising from nurses, from doctors, from other staff and from people representing those doctors. We are not being used. We are representing the concerns of a section of the community.

There will be more debate on this on my motion that follows and more will be discussed then. But this is a point that needed to be expressed specifically in relation to this motion that has been brought forward and the response by Mr Stanhope.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (3.32), in reply: In closing the debate, I do thank members for their contributions. It is an important issue and the community is much more informed today about what the opposition, in particular, think about our hospitals in the ACT. If people did not know before, they do now. Maybe people thought I was being a bit OTT, as the could-have-beens would say—that is, over the top. We have heard it all again today—pure negativity and pure opposition, of course, from the opposition.

Mr Seselja is continually running down this government's plan for health care in the ACT, with no suggestion of an alternative plan from him. He is asleep on the job again. Do some work, Mr Seselja. What is your plan? Of course, we have seen here


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