Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 August 2010) . . Page.. 3935 ..
(b) rule out further attempts to purchase Calvary Hospital.
This is an issue about openness and accountability and about ensuring that we do not repeat the mistakes of the last two years. It is about the secretive deals that have occurred in relation to Calvary Public Hospital and the plan by the government to purchase it. I think it would be wise to open with some words from someone I like to quote regularly, who is a great inspiration for me, and that is the previous opposition leader, Mr Stanhope. I will quote from him in October 2001 when he was the opposition leader. You can judge the performance of his government against the rhetoric from when he was the opposition leader—
Mr Stanhope: You’ve been in opposition that long, have you?
MR HANSON: and see if he meets his own standards when he lectured the good people of Canberra.
Mr Stanhope: You’ve been in opposition for nine years now, have you?
MR HANSON: I quote:
Labor understands that good government does not bully.
Ms Gallagher missed that one—
Mr Stanhope: It has been leading for nine years.
MR HANSON: “Good government accepts criticism.” Does it?
Good government has the courage to allow itself to be closely scrutinised. It conducts its operations in an open, honest and accountable manner, not in secret.
What a pearler. Last Thursday Ms Gallagher made a statement in the Assembly. Largely it was an exercise of excusing her appalling handling of the Calvary purchase fiasco, but she also outlined the government’s current position in light of accounting advice that they have now received. Before I go to that, it is worth pointing out and reminding members of the Assembly of the process that has led us to this point.
I remind you that in August 2008 the minister started this secretive process to purchase Calvary hospital. Indeed, she wrote to the chair of the Little Company of Mary in the lead-up to the last election asking him to sign a heads of agreement in relation to the deal. I think it is fair to say that there was a substantive plan on the table. When she said on the eve of the ACT election in a health debate, “All of our plans are on the table,” that simply was not true.
I have another quote from Mr Stanhope here. You will like this one. It is also about being honest. Mr Stanhope lectured the community in 2001. He said, “Because