Page 4954 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009

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Amendment agreed to.

Clause 9, as amended, agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.28 pm to 2 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE: For the information of members, as I am sure they are aware, the Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer and Minister for Health, Ms Katy Gallagher, is unable to be in the chamber for question time today. She is representing the territory at a ministerial council. I will be more than happy, if I am able, to take questions that might otherwise have been directed to Ms Gallagher.

Questions without notice

Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister and relates to the Calvary hospital proposal. Minister, in the Weekend Australian of Saturday, 31 October 2009, it was reported that, at a meeting between you, the Minister for Health, Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Bishop Pat Power on 6 April this year, the ACT government made a number of threats in relation to the future funding of Calvary Public Hospital. Minister, did you or the Minister for Health discuss cutting funding or services or infrastructure at that meeting if the Little Company of Mary continued to run Calvary Public Hospital?

MR STANHOPE: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. It gives me an opportunity to correct the record, as indeed the Minister for Health has done in a letter to the editor of the Australian in relation to the article by Angela Shanahan, whom one might refer to as a conservative columnist. I think that is the polite description of Ms Shanahan and her writings.

The claim by Ms Shanahan in that article that either I or Katy Gallagher or both of us threatened to cut funding or threatened anything in any way in the meeting with Archbishop Coleridge or Bishop Pat Power is simply not correct; it is false. Ms Shanahan did claim that there were minutes of the meeting and she purported in her article to base her allegations on what she claimed to be minutes of the meeting.

There were no minutes of the meeting. It transpires that a record of the meeting was made by a member, I believe, of the staff of Archbishop Coleridge but they were not minutes; they were a record. I understand that that record contained, at its end, essentially some musings by the archbishop’s note taker or interpretations by the archbishop’s note taker, of the context of the meeting.

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