Page 1362 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 31 May 2023

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Holding an inquiry was important and would have allowed for careful consideration and the gathering of as much necessary information as possible within the 20-day challenge that the minister dropped in our laps. It was doable and an interim report was possible. Instead, a majority of the committee did not want one.

The decision to rush a forced acquisition has led to widespread dissatisfaction amongst the affected individuals. Instead of considering the concerns and opinions of the people involved, this Labor-Greens machine has determined to run them over. The haste of this decision has disrupted the lives of many citizens, breeding resentment and further eroding trust in this government and all Labor and Green MLAs altogether. Common sense requires that the single largest acquisition since self-government crucially required a committee to engage in careful scrutiny. Unfortunately, I was outnumbered by the Greens and Labor members of my committee, who voted against the democratic process of scrutinising a bill before debate.

This house is meant to be a democratic house, but those opposite have turned it into a totalitarian one. You have come here today as elected members to represent the public, but each of you is willing to rob the public of their will, their voices and their right to engage in proper scrutiny of this forced takeover of Calvary Hospital. Again, this is the most significant acquisition in the history of the ACT government, but Labor and the Greens have rejected transparency in favour of something more resembling a dictatorship. Outside this Assembly, however, the people still believe in democracy; thank goodness. Mark my words: they will have their voices heard at the next election when they will anxiously work to remove you from this Assembly, just as you have today removed their voice from this Assembly by blocking proper scrutiny of this Calvary bill.

MADAM SPEAKER: On Mr Braddock’s point of order, I direct members to standing order 241, which says that a committee’s evidence, documents or proceedings may not be disclosed or published to a person unless they have been reported to the Assembly. That is a shortened version of standing order 241. There is no point of order. But it is good manners for committee members always to have respect for other committee members.

Health Infrastructure Enabling Bill 2023

Debate resumed from 11 May 2023, on motion by Ms Stephen-Smith:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.26): The Canberra Liberals will be opposing this undemocratic, unprincipled, deceitful and destructive bill in every possible way. We oppose it on health grounds, we oppose it legally and we oppose it ethically. This bill tramples over staff. It tramples over trust. It tramples over our democratic principles and over common sense.

It is an appalling example of a government acting without consideration for due process and without concern for the harm that they will cause. Most of all, it is a breach of trust—the trust of staff, patients, all of the people of the ACT and any business doing work with the ACT government.

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