Page 3959 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 15 Sept 2009

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MR HANSON: Minister, will you provide the cost to the territory government for the purchase of Calvary hospital?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes. The costs will be included in the information, including some analysis from Treasury on cost-benefit.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Is the minister aware of concerns that have been raised in relation to linking the sale of Calvary to Clare Holland House, and have those concerns been addressed?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, I am aware of the concerns that have been raised, particularly by the Palliative Care Society, about linking the two. I have to say that, in my discussions with the Little Company of Mary, the two things go together. They will not want to proceed with the sale of the hospital if the hospice is not part of the consideration. Part of their decision making within their own organisation about coming to a point of being prepared to consider the sale of the public hospital has been in terms of their own philosophy, need and a desire and a want to consolidate their role in palliative care in the territory through the hospice. The concerns that have been raised by the Palliative Care Society have been on—

Mr Hanson: A sweetener for a secret deal.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Hanson obviously thinks an open consultation process, with the cost and a cost-benefit analysis going out to the community, is a secret deal.

Mr Stanhope: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I think there is a convention or a standard in relation to proceedings in the conduct of this Assembly that allegations that the Catholic Church is involved in bribery and would accept sweeteners for a sweetheart deal really are outrageous. Mr Hanson should be asked to withdraw the allegation against the Catholic Church.

Mr Seselja: Mr Speaker, apart from the fact that Mr Hanson did not say anything of the kind, Mr Stanhope has made an allegation against Mr Hanson that he has made an allegation of bribery and he should be asked to withdraw it.

Mr Stanhope: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Hanson said, “Is that a sweetener for a secret deal or a sweetheart deal?”

Mr Hanson: That is not what I said.

Mr Seselja: He did not say “sweetheart deal”.

Mr Stanhope: He did. Mr Hanson has suggested that the Catholic Church in the ACT was involved in nefarious, underhand, secret, sweetheart deals with the government, and he should be asked to withdraw.

Mr Hanson: I think it is the government that has problems, Mr Stanhope.

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