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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3670 ..

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (3.43), by leave: I will just make the point first up that, other than the point about the new options that are on the table, there were a lot of excuses and self-justification in that speech. We are at a point now where we are in disarray. The minister talks about this being a once in a lifetime opportunity. She has been saying this for almost two years now, and we have had two years of wasted opportunity and two years of delay while she obsessively followed a single course of action whilst others in the community were presenting other options to her. The Canberra Liberals were saying that there are other ways of doing this and that we needed to have a number of options on the table.

Ms Gallagher: What were they?

MR HANSON: The options that were put on the table by people like Andrew Podger—

Mr Stanhope: What are you going to do, Jeremy? Tell us what you’re going to do, Jeremy.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Order, members! Mr Hanson has the floor.

MR HANSON: Options by Terry Dwyer and by Tony Harris, and R S Gilbert was even writing to the newspaper with some good options. The point that we made is that we needed to look at this rather than the obsessive desire to buy the hospital and spend the $77 million. What the Canberra Liberals have been saying is that a number of options have been discussed and a number of options need to be examined to weigh the benefits and the costs of each of those options.

What is without doubt and without question is that, if this minister had had her way and she had pursued her time line without the objections which were being raised by members of the community—from the Canberra Liberals through to the Palliative Care Society through to the Catholic Church and others—she would have spent $77 million of taxpayers’ money without it being needed to be spent. That is beyond refute. We would now be in a situation where $77 million would have been spent now. The Treasurer calculated that figure over 20 years to be $160 million. That was the once in a lifetime opportunity. That would have been a significant cost and an unnecessary cost.

Ms Gallagher: It would have been money well spent.

MR HANSON: Well, you are saying it would be money well spent. You still—

Ms Gallagher: To operate the hospital, it would have been.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Order, members, please.

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