Page 5550 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 9 December 2009

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LCM remove themselves from the hospital because they’re so good, but then we don’t want them to entrench themselves at the hospice because they’re not so good down there. We don’t want them down there, but we want to keep them, against their will, up there.”

I have decided after last night’s meeting that Jeremy just does not want to offend anybody. He wants to get a clap wherever he goes. You should have seen the smile last night at the clapping that went on at that meeting. Oh my goodness; didn’t he enjoy it? It was a real indication of what you guys would be like if you got into government: never offend anybody; do nothing; never take on a challenge.

I think the question was around whether it was Labor Party policy for a third hospital. It is not Labor Party policy to have a third hospital. It is true that Mr Berry and I have had our disagreements over time. I think that is pretty well documented. If the sale of Calvary does not proceed—I have said this a number of times in this place and perhaps it was when Mr Smyth was not listening again—we will have to look at how we finance and how we make those very difficult decisions on our budget to increase facilities and infrastructure on the north side of Canberra. I have said that probably five or six times in this place.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary?

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what are you doing to assure the community that Calvary hospital will continue to provide services to the people of Canberra with the full support of the government, regardless of the outcome of this deal?

MS GALLAGHER: I have not received any concerns from the people of Canberra that they have any question about whether the fine quality of services provided at Calvary Public Hospital would be compromised under the deal that is currently on the table or the current arrangements. We have been very clear from the beginning in terms of the range of services offered and that the full suite of services offered would continue. In fact, under the proposal they would grow. If the proposal does not go ahead, we are going to have to relook at everything that we do on the north side of Canberra.

Mr Coe: You have had no concerns raised with you?

MS GALLAGHER: No, we have had no concerns raised—

Mr Coe: None?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, you will have a chance in a minute.

MS GALLAGHER: around continuity of service, which was the question, Mr Coe, if you had listened. I have not had concerns raised about the continuity of service. I have had concerns raised around change in service and adding services—for example, adding services around reproduction. I have had concerns raised with me about those matters and whether there would be any change. But in terms of a diminution of service, I have had no concerns.

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