Page 59 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 February 2010

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do is grant $200 million to the Little Company of Mary and it can all be managed.” Yes, of course it can. But let us have a look at that: $200 million of taxpayers’ money gifted to a third party and no asset retained by the people of the ACT. A very generous arrangement that is and not one that the government wanted to pursue.

I am very happy to table the letter from the archbishop and the advice. I think, from memory, it was Tony Harris. I sent that off. Therefore, it must be right. I can hear Brendan’s excitement at that. What, you did not know that, Brendan? You did not know it was from Tony Harris? He is very good. It does not mean you agree with someone all the time. I sent that advice off to Treasury, including Tony Harris’s opinion in this matter.

The advice I received back from Treasury was that it fundamentally did not deal with the issue of the government wanting to own an asset it had to invest in. Guilty as charged, Mr Smyth! The government wants to own an investment it invests in. What a shock that is to everybody! I think I have made it clear that, since this consultation on Calvary started, the government’s view was that, if we are to provide the level of hospital services that we need to the people on the north side of Canberra in a way that our budget can sustain and in a way that delivers the outcomes that we want for the people of the ACT, then the people of the ACT should own that asset.

That is something that the Liberals do not agree with. You do not stand up for the people of Canberra. You do not care about the future of the health system. You guys have sold out big time. We can see that in all the positions you have taken to obstruct and to complicate what is essentially a very simple transaction.

The government wants to invest in a hospital and—surprise, surprise—in a public hospital it wants to own that asset. Yes, that makes the financial investments a lot easier for our budget but it also delivers the outcomes that we want for the people of the ACT.

The outrageous thing about what has occurred over the last few days is that the people of the ACT are being denied even the opportunity to have a say about that. We do not even get a say about it because the church has refused to allow the people of the ACT and their representative in this place the ability to have even a vote on it. I do not know how that sits and whether that sits very well with any of you over there but it does not sit well with us. We have not even been allowed to decide the future of our public hospital. Does not that slightly irk any of you? We have had that decision taken away from us. The glee which I can see on the opposition’s faces, how happy are they that a proposal has failed, which they never supported—(Time expired.)

MR HANSON: Minister, will you table the advice that you received from Tony Harris by the close of business today, please?

MS GALLAGHER: I have already said I will, Mr Hanson—

Mr Hanson: By close of business today.

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, yes. I could not care less when it is tabled. And, Mr Hanson, you stand up in the adjournment debate and tell me you do not have a copy of it.

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