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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (25 February) . . Page.. 743..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

If there is anything good to come out of the past week, I would hope that some of the tensions that have existed—and they are largely tensions between doctors—will be put aside in the interests of providing a seamless service across the public and private system. If there is anything good to come out of the way this campaign has been prosecuted in the last week, I hope it is that.

In terms of the responsibilities I have for running the public obstetrics service, there have been no wars within the public obstetrics service, which is what the opposition are trying to twist and slant in their media commentary. As I have said a number of times, I became aware of concerns within the public service, within obstetrics, at a meeting held with staff last Wednesday. And a number of steps have been taken since then to support staff and seek to investigate that further.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary?

MR SESELJA: Minister, what exactly is the damage that has been done to the Canberra Hospital as a result of this 10-year war?

MS GALLAGHER: I think the damage that has been done as a result of last week's events, which is bringing up issues that have arisen in 2005 and, I think, back in 1999, but particularly in the last week, has been damage to the reputation of the Canberra Hospital. And I regret that enormously. I do not think it is warranted. I do not think the allegations around clinical safety and standard of care that have been put from one side will be supported when a thorough external review is done. But I think damage has been done, and I think it has been done to reputation over time. Again, I think that is enormously regrettable.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Minister, is the war in the health system over, or are you hoping your review will end the war?

MS GALLAGHER: I have called upon the private obstetricians I met with on Monday to put aside their differences and to work with the Canberra Hospital and clinicians within the Canberra Hospital to make sure that any concerns that exist—they are concerns that exist across the private or public system—are resolved and that obstetricians can work together in the interests of the community. I put that to the private obstetricians, and they agreed that that was a sensible way forward.

Weston Creek cottage

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Chief Minister and it concerns the Weston Creek cottage. Chief Minister, why did the Weston Creek cottage lie vacant for two years after the government evicted the previous tenants and what has been the cost to provide security for the cottage over this period?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. In the context and the history of the cottage at Stromlo, the fact that the cottage is being upgraded at quite


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