Page 54 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2012

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MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. Services will be provided from the women’s and children’s hospital from the date of opening. That is expected in the first half of this year, May-June this year, depending on how the weather goes and the final stages of this project—well ahead of the election date.

In relation to the projects that have been delivered, as Mr Hanson knows, because I have provided him with all of that information, the vast majority of the projects that are completed have been completed on time and on budget.

Mr Hanson: Rubbish!

MS GALLAGHER: No, it is true.

Australia Day—protest

MR COE: My question is for the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Minister, I refer to a media report published in the Australian online on 28 January about the Aboriginal tent embassy protest and conversations that Tony Hodges, of the Prime Minister’s office, had before the protest. The report says:

The Prime Minister said Mr Hodges first contacted ACT Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Chris Bourke.

When Dr Bourke was unavailable he was referred to ACT Unions secretary Kim Sattler.

Minister, who did Mr Hodges contact in your office, what was said in that conversation and did you direct the answer which was given?

DR BOURKE: I refer the member to my previous answer to this question. As I have previously said, my office was contacted by Mr Hodges on the day and we were asked about providing a media comment. I was unavailable, and he was referred on to Ms Sattler as an alternative media contact. Mr Speaker, I am not going to be naming people in my office.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary.

MR COE: Minister, did your office suggest that Mr Hodges contact Ms Sattler and, if so, why?

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Dr Bourke has the floor; thank you, members. He will decide what he is going to answer.

DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his question. Mr Hodges contacted my office seeking a media comment. I was unavailable and he was referred to Ms Sattler, as an alternative media contact at the tent embassy.

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