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No Inquiry for Calvary Acquisition (Following On from 246A Statement)

When a bill is introduced, debate is adjourned to allow for scrutiny, including referral to a committee. If the committee then chooses to conduct an inquiry; it will seek submissions, gather evidence, and hold public hearings. Committee review is crucial because the ACT lacks an upper ‘house of review’ as a check on the government-controlled lower house.

When Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith presented the bill authorising the forced acquisition of Calvary Hospital 20 days ago, every Labor and Greens MLA voted to suspend Standing Orders (our ‘rules’) to allow this bill to be passed without any scrutiny. This is fundamentally wrong.

The bill was still referred to the Public Accounts Committee, which I chair. Mindful that this controversial bill demanded scrutiny, I tried to launch an immediate public inquiry, with an interim report for today, but the Labor and Greens committee members refused to let this bill be scrutinised in any way. Today, I called out the ACT Government and all Labor and Greens MLAs for treading on essential democratic processes to rush this bill through for no defensible reason. This is evidence of an out-of-control government that is no longer willing to be held to account.

Click on the arrow button to read my speech.


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