Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 649..
Ms Le Couteur
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Amendment agreed to.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is that the motion, as amended, be agreed to.
MR HANSON (Molonglo) (5.05): Firstly, let me thank members for their input, in particular my colleagues in the opposition. I think there have been some excellent speeches today that have outlined the compelling need for an inquiry under the Inquiries Act and I thank them all for their words.
Ms Gallagher's claim that it would be a witch-hunt to have such an inquiry is not the case. In fact, it would be the very opposite. Having such an inquiry under the Inquiries Act would make sure there was no witch-hunt or indeed there were no allegations or perceptions of cover-up or of whitewash or of this being anything other than a full and frank inquiry that gets to the very heart of the systemic issues that have been raised as concerns by a significant body of people now.
The issues of concern that have been raised by me and others in the Assembly today are of health and safety—the concerns for the health and safety of patients that would, or could, arise directly from the broader systemic issues of workplace bullying, of intimidation, of threats and of a failure in the complaints process and procedures in place to make sure that any complaints that are put forward by clinical staff are actually listened to and then acted on without fear or favour. The allegations coming forward are certainly that people that have made complaints, both within obstetrics and more broadly across the hospital, are either ignored or are treated very poorly.
The minister has chosen, essentially, to deny that there are any problems at the Canberra Hospital or that any problems could arise out of this workplace culture. And I think that is a shame, because what she has done is essentially prejudge the outcome of any inquiry that will occur.
So whoever is doing the inquiry into the clinical aspects now has a minister, in this culture of intimidation and bullying, who said: "There are no problems. There are no problems that could have arisen out of any problems with the workplace."Whoever is doing that inquiry has significant pressure on them now to actually say: "No. The minister was wrong. There either have been clinical outcomes that were negative or there is a potential."She has put herself forward and prejudged this case already. Again, that adds to the compelling requirement for this to have legal standing so that it mitigates those sorts of things.