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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3351 ..

puts the pressure on the other public hospital, the one run and administered by the government. That makes no sense. The logical thing to occur, of course, would be for the load to be shared between the two hospitals.

None of us can control how many women choose to have babies or choose to present to public maternity wards but we can share the load and we can manage the demand by effectively utilising resources across both public hospitals. But that is not the case at the moment. It is just one small example of why the government is committed to getting a better governance outcome that makes sure public expenditure in public health services is utilised to the maximum and to the greatest level of efficiency possible.

So the government has set out from day one and said very clearly: “If we are going to invest further funds in our public hospitals”—the one that is owned and operated by the Little Company of Mary as well as the Canberra Hospital—“we need to be able to get value for money for the taxpayer. If we make the investment, we should be able to get the asset. We should be able to offset the cost to the taxpayer by having an asset that we own and make the investment not just in the service delivery but in the capital facilities of those hospitals.” That is a very clear and simple position, which those opposite seem to either refuse to understand or just are completely incapable of understanding.

So we need to invest. We have sought to achieve mechanisms to allow that investment to occur. The minister has made sure at every turn that that decision is a prudent one and that those proposals are prudent and effective in terms of maximising public investment in public health services.

It was the minister that made sure that the full accounting situation was understood before any final decisions were undertaken. It was the minister that sought independent expert advice on these matters. Are these the actions of a minister who should resign? Absolutely not. When the government put forward its proposals for investment and the purchase of Calvary hospital, it did so on the basis of the known and accepted and in-force accounting standard that applied at that time.

There was no proposed change to the accounting standard at the time the government put forward that proposal; none whatsoever. In fact, the accounting change only came to the government’s attention earlier this year. And it came to the government’s attention because the minister requested that advice. That is the action of a minister who knows what she is doing, who is aware of the possible risks and wants to make sure she is fully and properly informed before she makes a significant decision.

Yet the Liberal Party want the minister to resign because of that. The Liberal Party want the minister to resign. They fail the test. They fail the test absolutely.

In relation to the matter of obstetrics, of course it is interesting that those opposite no longer repeat the claims made by doctors such as Dr Foote that there were questions about patient safety. Let us see exactly what the report about those matters said. There is no suggestion of compromising of patient safety. There is no suggestion of that. In fact, in the overwhelming majority of the measures that have been assessed, the

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