Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 575 ..
I would also like to note that I received the same letter from Mr Brennan that Mr Hanson referred to earlier and it was clearly stated in this letter that the decision of LCM was not due to politics.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (11.33): I welcome the opportunity to talk about this very important issue and I thank Ms Porter for bringing this motion to the Assembly today.
I must say, having listened to Mr Hanson’s contribution, I did reflect on how easy it must be to be in opposition and to never, ever have to consider difficult issues or issues where 100 per cent of the community may not be in total agreement. I think it is an indication of just what sort of minister he would be—if he ever got the opportunity—given the hypocritical, embarrassing position that he has found himself in over this. The fact that he is not prepared to let LCM relinquish their role at the hospital because they are so fantastic and it is the best way to operate everything, but then he is not prepared to let them have the same role at the hospice because they are not as fantastic down that side of the lake as they are on the north side, is completely hypocritical and embarrassing—
Mr Hanson: Then your argument is hypocritical, isn’t it?
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Order, Mr Hanson, please! I gave you protection.
MS GALLAGHER: and it is not an issue that he was able to respond to in the course of the consultations.
Mr Hanson draws my attention to the fact that he is alleging my position is hypocritical. The main difference is that we had no problem with LCM operating the hospital, and we have no problem with them operating the hospice. The difference is that the hospice does not require $200 million worth of investment and the hospice does not require a doubling of activity on that site within the next six to 10 years. That is the main difference that Mr Hanson avoids in all of his analysis.
Mr Hanson’s continuing to allege that there is an ideological pursuit on the part of the Labor Party ignores the very clear evidence from the chair of LCM Health Care, who agreed with the position that the ACT government had. They are a larger health provider than the ACT government—they are a much larger health provider than the ACT government—and they see the benefit of a networked system of services, as they provide around the country. Indeed, in their letter to me of 6 February, Mr Brennan again goes to those issues:
There are three … issues affecting our work in Canberra:—
and really he is going to the point of what he wanted to see come out of these discussions—