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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 584 ..

MRS DUNNE: Ms Porter needs to justify this to her electorate

Mr Hanson: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, throughout the previous speeches, including the minister’s, the Assistant Speaker was demanding that members of the opposition remain silent.

Ms Gallagher: No-one did, though, did they, Jeremy?

Mr Hanson: Could you ask the minister to remain silent while Mrs Dunne speaks, please?

MR SPEAKER: I invite all members to listen to Mrs Dunne in silence. I call Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Ms Porter needs to justify to her electors why the proposed takeover of Calvary hospital, which she seems to think is such a good move for her constituents, would be a good move in light of the poor performance that has been alleged in relation to the Canberra Hospital over the past few days. I refer to the fact that the minister has herself agreed to a somewhat limited inquiry into the toxic work culture in parts of the Canberra Hospital. Do we want the toxic work culture in the obstetrics unit at Canberra Hospital also translated to the obstetrics unit at Calvary hospital?

We need to address some of the issues that Ms Porter has raised. Of course, her opening comments were that the whole deal over the sale of Calvary hospital fell over because of the intervention of members in this place. Ms Porter has been challenged, and I challenge her again, to set the record straight. It has been made perfectly clear by both the opposition and the crossbenches that Mr Brennan himself has made it perfectly clear that the announcement, while being of regret to the Little Company of Mary, had nothing to do with political processes and everything to do with church deliberations.

This is the thing: Ms Gallagher went into this like a bull at a gate. There has been a culture in the Stanhope Labor government to take over Calvary at any cost. It has been obvious to the people of the ACT since as early as 2005 when Mr Corbell made attempts to take over the hospital. It is obvious in the rate at which Calvary expresses concerns about the level of funding. It has been obvious year after year.

Since Mr Corbell’s stint as Minister for Health, Calvary officials are not permitted to attend estimates hearings, not permitted to give evidence. It is increasingly difficult for members to inquire into what is going on at Calvary hospital because of the interference from ministers. When Ms Gallagher decided that she would have her attempt at taking over the hospital, she went at it like a bull at a gate. She showed a complete lack of understanding of what was required.

This was not a simple purchase of real estate. She did not understand the processes involved. Ever since she failed in her attempt, she spent a lot of time attempting to blackguard those members of the church who she thinks, or she would like to contend, have stood in her way and stopped her getting her way in relation to Calvary hospital.

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