Page 5687 - Week 15 - Thursday, 10 December 2009

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MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson!

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Hanson, you have asked your question. Perhaps you could let me answer it.

Mr Seselja: You’re struggling.

MS GALLAGHER: No, I am not struggling, Mr Seselja, as much as you blokes sitting over there like being the bullies that you are and that you have been—

Mr Stanhope: And the misogynists.

MS GALLAGHER: Actually, the misogynist bullies that you have been all year. You should continue that approach because people see how you behave. People in the community see how you behave in this place.

The government approached Little Company of Mary in or about July and asked them to consider whether they would be prepared to relinquish the public hospital. There is no secret about that. At that time, Little Company of Mary Health Care asked us to keep those discussions confidential whilst they worked through their own processes. There was a letter which I signed to Tom Brennan, the chair of Little Company of Mary, which sought to keep the discussions going through caretaker. That is what the letter did.

Mr Smyth: Before—let’s do this before caretaker.

MS GALLAGHER: No. The heads of agreement—

Mr Smyth: Yes.

MS GALLAGHER: No, wrong, Mr Smyth, wrong. You have been wrong all year. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker. Minister, why did you conduct only six weeks of consultation when your own government guidelines suggest 12 weeks is appropriate?

MS GALLAGHER: The letter that Mr Smyth refers to was to seek a heads of agreement that would allow discussions to continue through caretaker because I did not want to see an eight-week period where ACT Health was not even allowed to discuss it or pursue this with Little Company of Mary.

Yes, there was a letter. The heads of agreement could not be reached in that time. So no heads of agreement was signed. The discussions had not reached a point where we were able to go to the community with a comprehensive policy around it. It was simply the case. Whether or not—

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