Page 2411 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 17 June 2009

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That it should somehow be seen as a red rag to a bull, whether that bull is the Prime Minister, half of the Liberal Party perhaps, or a section of the community as a whole, is disappointing. The fact that the simple but necessary reference to the actions of Prime Minister Howard in overriding the Civil Unions Act has become an excuse for the other political parties to resist the Greens’ proposal for the Assembly to engage with the commonwealth parliament is unfathomable. Nonetheless, that appears to be the case.

Instead the Labor and Liberal parties have worked with us to find a way to unite on a more general review of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act. Issues such as the capacity of the ACT to govern the size of its own Assembly have been raised. Somehow it is thought to be more acceptable if the issues around section 34(2) can be swept up in a broader review.

There is still, I believe, a common commitment for the Assembly to use the 20th anniversary celebration as a platform for a unanimous way forward. The ACT government understandably hopes to bring on an Australian government review of the act, and in collaboration with them. The opposition suggested an Assembly inquiry, building in representation of all three parties, so that the subsequent report would have Assembly endorsement by design. I am concerned that nothing may happen in both cases.

The Rudd government may see no need, nor feel any pressure, to act on the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act. The Assembly committee may lose focus and face so many different or competing inputs that nothing clear or concrete can be arrived at. I would like to see all parties in this Assembly put together the terms of reference for a review of the self-government act that would then be presented to the federal government but I would like to see us push for the repeal of section 34(2) as well. There are no arguments that I have seen to explain why we should not do it. It is all a little eerily familiar, just like the use of section 34(2).

I look forward to the Assembly’s support.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned to a later hour.

Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital and Clare Holland House

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (10.31): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes with concern that the Stanhope-Gallagher Government:

(a) has conducted secretive negotiations surrounding the potential purchase of Calvary Public Hospital (Calvary) and potential sale of Clare Holland House (CHH);

(b) has failed to consult with the community on the potential purchase-sale of Calvary and CHH;

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