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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3376 ..


As to the behaviour, in some of the correspondence I have received from people, there are views around inappropriate use of language, shouting, people feeling verbally abused and harassed. But I have to say it is not necessarily about one person. A number of people have expressed views about a number of individuals’ behaviour within that unit, and that has been worked through, as it should be, and appropriately done, at the workplace level.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question?

MR HANSON: Minister, has the reticence been a deliberate attempt to prevent problems from emerging in public?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not think anyone goes to work to not do their job every day, but I think—and what I understand from being in this position—that nothing is ever black and white. I think that managers at the hospital very much do their best to make sure of the smooth running of the hospital and that they are addressing pockets of concern when they arise. But it is a hard job. It is an incredibly hard job.

Mr Smyth: They don’t believe the report. Is that what you are saying?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not discounting the review at all; I am trying to explain that for managers, managing units within the hospital is very complex, and it is not always black and white. That is what I would say. There is agreement that the obstetrics units and concerns that were probably bubbling away for a little while were not addressed at their earliest indication. What we have seen—

Mr Hanson: They were not obvious at all.

MS GALLAGHER: Again, there are mixed views about that. I know that you are there as the judge, jury and sentencer on this, but there are mixed views about this. And there are mixed views around how everyone’s input has been relayed. I am trying to manage what is a very difficult situation and keep a public maternity service running. I can say that, whilst the opposition can sit there in their black-and-white world where everything is Katie’s fault and nothing is their fault, from the hospital’s point of view it is not all black and white. There is no person who has been right and person who has been wrong. There are a whole range of issues that need to be worked through. I think that management have tried to resolve issues. As to whether they have done that successfully or not—I think there is probably fair agreement that they have not managed that successfully—I think attempts were made.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Minister, what are you now doing to ensure that these systemic issues are addressed to ensure that staff performance issues, particularly inappropriate behaviour, are properly dealt with in future?

MS GALLAGHER: An incredible amount of work has gone into ensuring that process. I should say that the processes, policies and guidelines are already in place


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