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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 2452 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

may be that the Hospice ... site be exchanged with the balance of the Peninsula. Under this option the Hospice would become a tenant of the Commonwealth ...

There it is - deal done. "Yes, no worries, John, mate, buddy, Howard. You can have whatever you want. You can have the land and you can have the hospice. We do not want compensation in return. We do not understand what we are doing. We have been dudded. We will just lie back and enjoy it". That is a little bit of history that I think we needed to hear.

There has been a very confusing process. In the midst of the relocation assessment there was a bizarre letter from Senator Reid, somebody for whom I have the utmost respect. Of all the Liberals in town, I probably respect Mrs Reid more than any other. Mrs Reid wrote to the hospice society in the midst of the relocation exercise to advise the hospice society, after they had gone to her to make representations about the possibility of the land at Yarralumla Bay being made available - and I paraphrase her - as follows: "I have been in contact with the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Smyth. He tells me that the ACT Government's preferred position is that the hospice go to Calvary Hospital. That is the ACT Government's preferred position". This is Senator Reid's letter to the society three weeks ago, in the midst of the process. Yet we are told that we have a clean, beautiful, wonderful process and there is nothing to worry about. Senator Reid, President of the Senate, informed the hospice society three weeks ago that, on the advice of Brendan Smyth, it was the Government's preferred position that the hospice should go at Calvary.

Mr Humphries: No, that is not true.

MR STANHOPE: That is what the letter said.

Mr Humphries: No. It said that his office advised that, as I recall.

MR STANHOPE: It was not Mr Smyth; it was Mr Smyth's office. Mr Humphries says that it was some poor staffer in Mr Smyth's office, some poor dunderhead in Mr Smyth's office who did not know what they were doing. It was not Mr Smyth who did not know what he was doing; it was some poor staffer in Mr Smyth's office who did not know what they were doing. I wonder which poor staffer that was.

That is some of the history. The process has been appallingly flawed. The one centrally located block that was identified and assessed was identified by the secretary of the hospice society frantically driving around on Sunday afternoon with her husband desperately trying to find a site that matched the amenity of the site which we have to abandon because Mrs Carnell gave the block away. She was simply outnegotiated, dudded, by the Commonwealth, by her mates up on the hill.

That is some of the history, and we have to accept that. But it is not relevant to what we are doing here now. We simply want the best result. That is what this motion is about. We can put the history behind us. Perhaps we have to discuss the history so we know why we are where we are. But let us put it behind us now. I am happy to drop those two

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