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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2010) . . Page.. 53 ..

MS GALLAGHER: As an alternative. Well, there have been a number of options canvassed over the years. Minister Corbell sought to acquire operations at the hospital that pre-dated my time. That was rejected by Little Company of Mary. As a result of the functional review decisions, we investigated taking more of an arm’s-length approach to the management and contract arrangements at Calvary, giving them more control over the management of the hospital. That was not agreed to by the parties. We looked at investing the money under the current arrangements, and that is outlined in the financial analysis that no doubt Mrs Dunne has read. We examined building a third hospital, and we examined the proposal that we have been consulting on for some time.

They were the options that were investigated. We could not, and did not, pursue options which were going to be resisted by Little Company of Mary. We felt that, having regard to the outcome of the discussions that Minister Corbell had led, in order to navigate a way through this arrangement it needed to be done with the full support of the current owner and operator. Those are the options that we considered. We believe that all of those, under any analysis, have shown that the option to buy would have had, from a financial point of view and also from an integrated health system point of view, the best long-term outcomes for this city—and as is shared by Little Company of Mary, who is a larger health provider than the territory.

They are the options that we looked at. I think we have to again look at those options of the third hospital, compulsory acquisition, the status quo and any other options that the government considers worth pursuing, along with Little Company of Mary, and we are going to do just that over the next few months.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you. Minister, what are the other options that the government might consider worth pursuing in the next few months?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not in a position to inform the Assembly of what those are at this stage. I will, though—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: I will, and I have no problem with them. I have been written to by the chair of the Little Company of Mary on Saturday, outlining the recent decision they have made. The government will respond to that letter and seek to reopen negotiations with LCM about a way forward.

The reality is, despite the head-in-the-sand approach from the Liberals, we need to build a north side hospital. We need to have it built within the next six years. We would prefer to do it at Calvary. We do not want to build a third hospital. We want to do it with the agreement of the Little Company of Mary.

Mr Hanson: Well, you botched it, didn’t you?

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