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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 November 2009) . . Page.. 4722 ..

Questions without notice

Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital and Clare Holland House

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, is the government willing to decouple the sale of Clare Holland House from the deal to purchase Calvary hospital?

MS GALLAGHER: The proposal which we are consulting on at this point in time has two elements to it—the purchase by the government of Calvary Public Hospital and the sale by the government to the Little Company of Mary of the hospice. That is the proposal that we are consulting on. I am in constant discussion with Little Company of Mary as we move through the consultation process, but it is not the intention of the parties to separate the proposal as it stands for the community’s consideration at this point.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?

MR SESELJA: Minister, can you advise the Assembly whether the sale of Clare Holland House will proceed even if the purchase of Calvary does not?

MS GALLAGHER: If the sale of the hospital does not proceed, will the sale of the hospice proceed? Is that the question? If the proposal as it stands is not supported by the Assembly, I guess the decision by the government will be how to manage the future steps, and that will involve discussions on the hospice and discussions about how we finance the upgrade at Calvary Public Hospital.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Minister, how long has the government wanted to sell Clare Holland House and why did the government not take this policy—that is to sell the hospice—to the community prior to the last election?

MS GALLAGHER: The discussions around Clare Holland House and the future of Clare Holland House came up at the beginning of the discussions with the Little Company of Mary about the proposed future arrangements of Calvary Public Hospital. I think I have been on the public record a number of times about that. It has been involved in the discussions from the beginning. We went public at the first opportunity once the decisions and the facts around the proposal were clear, including the costs—

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, I am talking about when the government came out with the proposal as it stands. It happened at the earliest opportunity once agreement had been reached about matters which were subject to the transfer agreement and the costs of both Clare Holland House and Calvary Public Hospital.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, on a supplementary question?

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