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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 651 ..


Ms Gallagher: I said, “It is not clear that the national college supports the actions here.”

MR HANSON: I am sure that the royal college would have addressed this pretty quickly if they did not support what Dr Foote is saying. He, I would imagine, has the support of his committee. We know he has the support of a significant number of his members. But let me tell you what he said yesterday in an email to the minister that was cc’d to me and to Dr Peggy Brown:

Thank you for meeting yesterday. I have subsequently been approached by a number of staff who are concerned about coming forward to state their bullying concerns as they feel intimidated and concerned about their ongoing job security or opportunities for promotion. Others may refuse to attend any review hearing. I am concerned that an external workplace review without powers to subpoena may be futile.

Ms Gallagher: Read on.

MR HANSON: I am not going to read the specific allegations about someone because I do not think I need to. I am looking at the systemic issues. And that is what I am concerned about. But what Dr Foote has raised in an email to you, that he cc’d to me, is that doctors are already coming forward to him and saying: “The review that is going to be set up by the government, we have got real concerns about. We need someone that has got the powers to subpoena.” And what have we called for? What is the government offering? And here it is, from the chair of the royal college.

Ms Gallagher: And what does the AMA want, Jeremy?

MR HANSON: I have spoken with the AMA and I have had some detailed conversations with them. I am sure that more will come out in terms of that. But I know that they have expressed a number of concerns about what is occurring.

Ms Gallagher: They sent you an email.

MR HANSON: I spoke with Dr Jones this morning. The broader problems that need to be investigated at the TCH in regard to the breakdown of systemic cultures in the management and complaints processes, I am concerned will not be looked at. And I will wait to see what the terms of reference are that are put forward by the minister. I again ask her—and she did not do so when she sought leave to speak a second time—to agree to consult the crossbench and the opposition on the formation of those terms of reference. I am very happy to do so in good faith.

I accept that I have lost this fight in the Assembly today but, going forward, I am sure that we all want to make sure that the review that is conducted is as full and as complete as it could possibly be. So I would ask the minister to involve me in that process. I assure her that I will do so in good faith if she gives me that opportunity. I also would ask that the minister make sure that the report, when it is finally presented, is tabled in the Assembly so that there is a full and frank explanation of what has occurred in the recommendations going forward and that there is no keeping that behind closed doors.


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