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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 642 ..


That is the problem with accepting what it is that the minister wants to do. The minister has had her chance. She has had four years to fix this problem, this ongoing 10-year war in obstetrics, this long and troubled history in obstetrics. But she has done nothing about it. Therefore, she should not have our trust and, in many ways, we should not believe what she puts forward until she can prove that she is quite capable of enjoying our trust and she can prove that she actually can make a change, effect real change, and show leadership.

If you do not think that bullying and harassment in the workplace has an effect on the workplace then you are fooling yourself. In terms of eroding the way that people work—as you said earlier, Madam Deputy Speaker, you were a nurse and a midwife and you know—if the team does not work as a team then there are serious implications for patients and there are serious implications for the hospital in which those operations and procedures are carried out.

There is a good case to put in place an inquiry under the Inquiries Act, simply because it is impossible to trust a minister who has neglected her portfolio in this area for four years. She is not worthy of belief that she will conduct the inquiry properly. When you look at the simple terms of reference that Mr Hanson has put in place, they do offer the way forward. Without a full inquiry, independent of the government, a government in which obviously so many have so little faith, we will not get to the bottom of this matter, there will not be trust, we will not be able to rebuild and we will not be able to move forward. Until we have the full clearing of the air and until we truly reset where it is, the best way to bring all the parties together—if the minister is genuine in that desire—is to do it through an inquiry under the Inquiries Act.

Such an inquiry would be beyond the control of this minister, it would be something that comes from this place. It would be the Assembly saying, “We are concerned and we want to help by putting in place this inquiry,” so that people can say, “Well, this isn’t coming from the minister; this isn’t coming from the government; it is coming from the people we voted for. It is coming from the people we put in place to make sure that these things happen—our Assembly members.” If the Assembly members vote for this today, I think the message it sends out to all those who have been affected by this is that there is a process in place that they can have faith in and that they can have trust in. However, it would appear the Greens are going to say to those people that all they can do is trust the government. Yet again I go to the Greens’ line that they were going to be third party insurance, and yet again it seems the Greens will squib that. (Time expired.)

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.42): After listening to the debate today and listening to Ms Gallagher—both in question time, when she used extraordinarily loose language, and also today in the debate and in her interjections—I think that what we have is a minister under siege, a minister who is underperforming, a minister who, by her own admission, has known of problems. She has known of problems in the obstetrics unit, by her own admission.

Ms Gallagher: Wrong.


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