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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1370 ..

With regard to the Greens, I am not quite sure whether they will be supporting this proposal as it stands. I imagine that they will, based on some of the comments that I have heard on the radio. But I make the point that when they say, “Public health in public hands; therefore we would accept this new deal,” the deal actually locks a Catholic provider into running Calvary hospital for the next 88 years, 70 years or whatever the period is. I do not see that, simply because the ownership agreement, the piece of paper, rests with the government and not with someone else, that changes anything about Calvary. And I do not think that that constitutes public health in public hands simply because of who owns it. If it is still being managed, operated and run by a Catholic provider, I do not see how the Greens could support this deal in good faith.

I go to the letters that we found out about today. We knew about one last week, the letter to the archbishop. And Ms Gallagher has advised us that there is a letter from the archbishop. As Mrs Dunne has said, I assure the Assembly that I do not have, and my colleagues do not have, a copy of either letter. The comments by Ms Gallagher that suggested that we had been provided with them—and I can only imagine that she is saying that the archbishop would have provided us with them—are quite disturbing. Next time she meets with the archbishop, she should at least apologise to him for casting those aspersions on someone who would pride themselves on their integrity, their honesty and the way they conduct their business.

In closing, I thank members for their contributions today. I am glad to see that this important matter will get up and that we will be provided with at least some of the documents that will help inform the community about what is going on with the government with regard to Calvary hospital.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2 pm.

Labor-Greens agreement

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, I would like to make a further statement with regard to questions without notice and questions on notice relating to the ALP-Greens parliamentary agreement.

It is clear that there is some lack of clarity about when a question will be out of order if it makes a reference to the ALP-Greens parliamentary agreement, and in the interests of moving forward on this with clear guidance for members, I believe it is useful to outline how I propose to proceed on this matter.

During the course of the debate yesterday, Mr Smyth raised a number of previous questions that had made mention of the ALP-Greens parliamentary agreement that had not been ruled out of order, including a question from Mr Coe in April 2009.

I have taken the opportunity provided to me overnight to review those previous questions, and I acknowledge Mr Smyth’s concern that there is seeming inconsistency

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