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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 628 ..


MR HANSON: If I can summarise the conversations I have had—

Members interjecting—

MR HANSON: Mr Speaker, would you stop the clock again?

The concerns are that nepotism has put patients’ safety at risk, that clinical mistakes are being covered up, that there is a culture of abuse and bullying and a deliberate strategy not to put anything on paper, that there are problems between bureaucracy and clinical staff.

The question of whether there are problems at the Canberra Hospital at this juncture I think would be difficult to maintain an argument around. I am very concerned that more broadly the problems at obstetrics are playing out in other departments. Since this issue has arisen, I have had numerous complaints at my office, as have media outlets I am aware of, of a similar culture, of similar concerns with the complaints process in other departments and of staff who are facing a toxic workplace environment, and staff who have been threatened, who have been bullied, who have tried to make complaints and have been treated very shabbily and have got to the point where they have resigned.

This is a small jurisdiction, though, and people are not willing to come forward publicly necessarily—because they do want to keep their jobs and they know it is difficult to get their jobs elsewhere.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (3.52): The government will not be supporting this motion. I can think of two occasions when an inquiry has been established under the Inquiries Act. The first one was to deal with VITAB and the second one was to deal with disability services. The allegations that are on the table here are largely around bullying and harassment. I cannot think of any other area where bullying and harassment—unsubstantiated at this point in time, may I remind people—in the workplace would be sought to be examined through an inquiry established under the Inquiries Act.

I guess some of my disappointment with this is how the opposition have hoped for some political gain through this process. They have seen an opportunity and seized it. They do not care about the issue at all. They do not care about all of the different parties involved and the different perspectives. If you listen to Mr Hanson, there is actually no need for an inquiry under the Inquiries Act because he has got all the established facts, he has made his decision and the findings are in. I do not even know why we are spending time debating this motion when all of those facts and findings are so clear to Mr Hanson.

I need to correct a few things. I think Mr Hanson led in by saying his concern is for women and children; he is concerned that death or serious injury may occur, if it has

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