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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 23 September 2010) . . Page.. 4405 ..


Because how many different voices were telling her it was flawed? I would argue, and the minister has never, ever been able to refute this, that, apart from her own Treasury, no-one was backing it. No-one was saying it was a good idea. Of all the experts from whom we have heard comment on it—we have had Sinclair Davidson, we have had Terry Dwyer, we have had Andrew Podger and we have had Tony Harris—have said: “No, you do not need to do it. There are lots of other ways. You do not need to throw away $77 million.” But that is what this minister wanted to do.

It reflects very poorly on her judgement. It reflects very poorly on the judgement of someone who is expecting soon to have the job of Chief Minister handed to her, given how poorly she has handled this and how dishonestly this has been handled, because she claimed that she had the plans on the table and she did not. All the while she was secretly negotiating to waste $77 million of taxpayers’ money.

I think it is also worth commenting on the role of the shadow health minister in this. He has kept this government to account at every turn. At every opportunity, where the opposition, led by Jeremy Hanson, took this government to task on this, we were blocked by the Labor Party and the Greens. When we sought documents, we were blocked. When we sought a referral to the Auditor-General, we were blocked. So, I think, as this process has fallen down, the Greens have finally come to the conclusion that they were wrong as well—that they were wrong to just trust what this minister had to say.

What is really important, as this is referred to this committee, is that the health committee does not simply take at face value what this minister says, because, when it comes to the issue of Calvary, like many other issues, she has not been up-front. So I would urge all members of the health committee to look very carefully at all of the information that is presented by this government on the Calvary deal, because until now they have got it wrong at every turn. Until now, Katy Gallagher has got it wrong at every turn. She has hidden from scrutiny. We only found out because it was leaked to the press. She hid before the election. She hid after the election. She has voted against referrals to the Auditor-General. She has refused to provide documents. Now the committee will finally get to shed some light on this process.

In conclusion, I would urge the committee not to believe what this minister tells them. Do not simply accept at face value that what Katy Gallagher says on Calvary is correct, because her past form on this issue is that she has been wrong. She has been wrong at every turn. She has hidden those facts, she sought to deny information to the public and to the Assembly and it is time we got some answers. We trust that this committee process will be one way of getting answers to some of these really important questions.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (10.58): Mr Speaker, before I begin, I seek leave to table a letter from the Minister for Health to Mr Tom Brennan from the Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd. The Deputy Chief Minister neglected to table that, and I would like to do that on her behalf. So I seek leave to do that.

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: I table the following paper:


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