Page 220 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

doctoring of information. I think that given the problems we have seen in maternity and the real concerns now that surround this hospital in terms of safety—you have got doctors saying there are safety concerns, you have got nurses saying that they are ignored, you have got code blues that failed, you have got parts of the hospital falling down, you have got a hospital that is at least $20 million over budget and that is running 18 months late at least—it is reasonable that whoever looks into these issues is independent of the government.

If the government has nothing to hide, if the government has nothing that it is trying to obscure, why could it not be an independent review? The government does not want that. What the government wants to do is review itself. I think we understand with the way they have acted in recent days in trying to nobble the public accounts committee, the way they have carried on in this Assembly so far as a majority government with the support of Mr Rattenbury, that this government is going to do everything it can to avoid scrutiny.

There is a lot of froth and bubble in what the minister is doing with her amendment. She is trying to appear reasonable, but ultimately what this does is miss a couple of very key points that are in the motion that we brought forward. In terms of the timings, both the terms of reference and the final review have to be circulated in a timely manner. And the review needs to be independent. This fails that test.

There is also another point in here that I must refer to, which is the feasibility study into the independent birthing centre. There was some debate in the chamber yesterday about the cost of that. I have referred to the Greens’ policies, which apparently were all sent to Treasury for costing. So unless the government got it wrong, it was $300,000 allocated to the cost of that.

I must say again that we have got a government that is now saying it is a great idea to have this review. It is a $300,000 review into something that the minister objects to, that she thinks is unsafe, that she knows that we do not support, that is not supported by clinicians. She is wasting $300,000 of taxpayers’ money. This is part of the suite—

Ms Gallagher: Read the agreement. It does not speak of $300,000.

MR HANSON: The policy that the Greens put forward went to Treasury and was costed by ACT Treasury. The review into an independent birthing centre was costed at $300,000. So unless Treasury got it wrong, unless all the Treasury costings were completely flawed, it is a $300,000 review. I make that point.

Mr Assistant Speaker, we will not be supporting this amendment. What this amendment seeks to do is water down the motion and remove again scrutiny by the opposition of this government into what is a horribly flawed project that is causing great distress to staff and to patients.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.23): Just following on from what Mr Hanson said, it is important that we get this right. You only have to go to the record of the government on delivering major capital works to get the expectation that the government will not get this right, and they have not got this right. To have a government review that

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video