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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 23 September 2010) . . Page.. 4459 ..


MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question?

MR HANSON: Minister, will you seek briefings just simply to seek advice on when it will be finalised so that you can inform the Assembly of an expected date?

MS GALLAGHER: I can, but I will take some advice from the government solicitor before I do that, as there are some requirements that ministers not be briefed during the conduct of a public interest disclosure. I am happy to take some legal advice about whether I am able to do that and provide that information to the Assembly.

MR SMYTH: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, have the staff in obstetrics and gynaecology been informed of the progress of this report and have they been told when this report may be finalised?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not believe so. I do not believe they have been told when the report will be finalised. I think there has been a lot of work within the unit with John Graham, who had been doing some of the work around the public interest disclosure. I understand he and other managers within ACT Health have been working with the staff in the obstetric unit throughout the course of this investigation, in order to support them and encourage them to come forward and provide advice. My understanding is that staff at the obstetric unit are up to date with where things are. As to whether they know the date of when things will be finalised, I do not believe so.

MR SMYTH: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, are you concerned at the time that has been taken to compile this report and have you got any indication of when the report might appear?

MS GALLAGHER: No, I am not concerned about the time. It will take as long as it takes. I am not sure that you can put time constraints on these matters. I guess my concern has been to make sure that staff within the unit are being supported from ACT Health, and I understand that to be the case. The issues that have come up, and the work that is being done in the maternity unit, have been very much about supporting staff, reforming that workplace, making sure they have adequate staffing levels and addressing those issues. The public interest disclosure process takes another path. When that is finished, I am sure there will be another process to work through with staff at the obstetrics unit.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.


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