Page 3877 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 25 August 2010

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where, of course, there are some people that would like a more efficient or a closer or a more frequent service and our capacity to justify it in relation to the overall operating cost to the network. Everybody knows that.

ACTION tries desperately hard to be fair and to be equitable and to ensure we meet the needs of those in inner areas, and it is within the inner areas where there is far greater access to capacity than there is in outer suburbs. To the extent that there is any spare capacity, of course, ACTION looks to ensure that it is equitably distributed. But, Mr Seselja, I am more than happy to write to you to provide an update on that particular issue.

Canberra Hospital—obstetrics unit review

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health and it relates to the review of public maternity units in the ACT released on 5 August 2010 that provided a critical report into obstetrics services at the Canberra Hospital. Minister, yesterday in this chamber you said that your department would only attempt to alter the report for “factual errors”. Later you said that “there is always dialogue between the agency and the reviewer”. Minister, will you categorically state in this place that your department did not attempt to request or suggest that sections that were critical of the management of the unit should be removed from the report prior to publication?

MS GALLAGHER: I took this question on notice yesterday. I have not heard back from my department so I cannot answer that question for you at this point in time. What I was saying yesterday was that it is not uncommon, when a department commissions a piece of work, for there to be dialogue between the client and the review team. I understand that has been the practice for some time. I would be surprised if there is any review commissioned where there is not that interaction. As to the question which I think goes to Mr Smyth’s and Mr Seselja’s questions yesterday, I can confirm that I have not read the draft report. I am not aware of the discussions, other than around factual errors and naming individuals, which my department have told me they raised with the review team. Outside of that, I cannot answer the question, but I have undertaken to get back to you.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Minister, is it true that your department only withdrew their attempts to have critical sections of the report removed after the reviewers threatened to go to the media?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not aware of that threat to go to the media. My department has told me that, in discussions with the review team, the review team did confirm that they would not make changes to the report—that they would stand by the report. Essentially, they did not want to make further changes and that was the end of the discussion, as I understand it.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

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