Page 61 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 February 2010

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been agreement between the parties. We cannot do anything on the north side of Canberra on that site, on the Calvary site, without the agreement of the Little Company of Mary.

Mr Seselja: So whose fault is that? Who do you blame, Katy? You’re throwing the blame everywhere.


MS GALLAGHER: I do not know that there needs to be any blame.

Mr Seselja: Is it LCM? Is it the Vatican? Is it the palliative care society? The Liberals? The Greens?

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Seselja!

MS GALLAGHER: Those rights are clearly outlined in the contracts and arrangements that have originated since Little Company of Mary took over the hospital. Yes, they were given a tremendous contract and a tremendous lease. They would not be given those things today, under the conditions that they have been granted. There is no get-out without their agreement; there is no capacity for the government to act unilaterally. The only way forward, and this has been closely scrutinised by our legal team, is to work with the Little Company of Mary to reach agreement around a way forward for the future. We had done that, and we were proceeding with that. Other options have not received agreement from the Little Company of Mary or, indeed, in some instances, from the government, for different reasons. So now we are back to the drawing board.

In terms of the opposition trying to manoeuvre and trying to get out of that hole that they dug for themselves, I do sense this little campaign being run that perhaps we have not been preparing for the future whilst we have been doing all of this. Can I just put that to bed now. We have been improving services at Calvary over a number of years. We have invested more resources in Calvary than any other government has. Indeed, we have invested more in capital infrastructure. So work continues on.


MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Treasurer. I refer to reports in today’s Canberra Times that the ACT government will be spending up to $4.5 million on consultants to find savings. Why aren’t you capable of finding savings in the budget without paying millions of dollars to consultants?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Doszpot for the question and I note the continuing theme of the Liberals. At some point they are going to have to give up, I think, around my failures as Treasurer, because, 18 months on and the sky has not fallen in—and, lo and behold, the ACT is the best performing economy in the world.

Opposition members interjecting—

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