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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 23 September 2010) . . Page.. 4398 ..


I believe that the Greens will be supporting my motion today. They have a couple of amendments. I welcome their support. It is a shame that I did not get their support on earlier occasions when I have tried to have this proposal scrutinised by the Auditor-General and when I have tried to have documents released, but I do welcome their support today—assuming that they follow through on what they have indicated is support for this motion.

In essence, we have reached a point where we simply cannot trust the government to get it right. It has proved during the process over the last two years that it could not do so. This is a government that has failed to listen to advice. This is a government that has nearly cost us $77 million. If it were not for, essentially, the mishandling of the negotiations, we would have found ourselves $77 million poorer and quite possibly unnecessarily so.

Today I am calling for the health committee of the Assembly, chaired by Mr Doszpot, to have a look at the proposal. I would like them to look at the four options and the relevant merits, both in financial terms and in health terms, and report back to the Assembly so that we can make an informed decision. I simply do not trust the advice that comes from Ms Gallagher. I am not going to take her advice. It seems to be either wrong, as it has proven to be, or it has got her spin on it.

I think we need to have a tripartisan committee of the Assembly look at this and actually listen to the advice. They can call the various experts, as they wish. They can call the Little Company of Mary to provide the advice and their position so that we hear it from both sides of the debate. They can look at the documents that are relevant. They can go into the detail and then report back to the Assembly on their view. It may be the case that that advice will be consistent with the minister’s, but if we are going to be asked, as an Assembly, to make such a momentous decision on the future of Canberra’s health care, we need to make an informed decision. At the moment we are certainly not getting the information or the advice that we need from the minister to do so.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (10.36): I thank Mr Hanson for bringing this motion to the chamber today. The Greens will be supporting the motion, with an amendment which I will move later.

I have spoken with my fellow committee members and we think that we should be able to undertake the inquiry in the time that has been set out in the motion. This is after moving the timing for annual reports. So we do think this is possible. What this also allows is for the committee to conduct its investigative and reporting processes before the budget process, which will be particularly relevant.

I will, as I am sure all members in this place will, be keen to ensure that this inquiry looks in an informed and constructive way at the key issues involved. It will also be up to the committee to set the exact terms of reference for the inquiry and this will enable us to ensure that we are looking at this in a partisan way and that the committee is able to manage the inquiry process.


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