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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 23 September 2010) . . Page.. 4399 ..

I also note that this inquiry is set against the background of what hospital services should be developed to best serve all of the Canberra community but most particularly the people in the north of Canberra. So research regarding that is likely to be sought. I appreciate the government will have to continue working while this inquiry is being undertaken. And I am sure that information will be provided to the committee, and we will need to ensure that.

What this inquiry will do is form recommendations about whether or not the Assembly should approve, through whatever mechanism is available, what it is the government proposes to do and put forward what the committee concludes is the most appropriate option.

I do have an amendment to Mr Hanson’s motion, rewording paragraph (1) to take out what are political statements. It is not best practice or appropriate for there to be such political statements in a motion that refers a matter to a committee. The motion should focus on the facts, and for that reason I move:

Omit paragraph (1), substitute:

“(1) this Assembly notes that, on 19 August 2010, the Minister for Health proposed four new options for future ownership and management arrangements of Calvary Public Hospital;”.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.38): I will speak to the amendment and the motion as a whole. The government will be supporting the motion, with the amendment today. I think it is probably 18 months too late. If Mr Hanson was doing his job he could have sought to refer this to a committee 18 months ago, if he was genuinely interested. If he was genuinely interested, he could have provided—

Mr Smyth: He has tried.

MS GALLAGHER: No, he has not attempted to provide it to the committee, because he does not want to do any work. I notice he has referred it to a committee where he still does not have to do any work, where everyone else does the work for him.

We have heard Mr Hanson give the same speech that I think he gives on a weekly basis in this place; exactly the same speech dusted off and reapplied to any matter that comes across his table about health. The government has no reason not to support this motion. Indeed, I have been encouraging interest in the Calvary discussions since the very beginning. But I must say that Mr Hanson’s speech, again, identifies his complete lack of understanding about the complex negotiations that have been underway between the government and Little Company of Mary since February 2009.

There have been twists and turns in these negotiations, more than I think anyone could have anticipated.

I have to say that the first proposal actually remains the government’s preferred option, which was to buy the hospital and own and operate it. That remains our position.

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