Supporters of Canberra’s Calvary Hospital were turned away from the Public Hearing into the handling of the compulsory takeover of their facility, due to insufficient seating in the committee room.
Wendy Francis, National Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), said, “The large group of Canberrans who turned out to support Calvary Health Care and the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn were primarily motivated by their concern over the ACT government’s blatant lack of democratic process. The committee administrators clearly underestimated the ongoing public outrage over the lack of transparency, consultation and due process.
“Witnesses at the hearing referred to the dangerous precedent set by what they believe was a serious abuse of government power.
Mrs Francis noted, “In a worrying correlation to current Federal Government proposed legislation to censor opinions they regard as ‘misinformation’, the ACT Minister for Health, Ms Rachel Steven-Smith MLA, labelled concerns that the Calvary Hospital takeover was religiously motivated as ‘misinformation’.”
The ACL calls on the committee to consider the ongoing trauma experienced due to the compulsory acquisition of the Hospital and the dangerous precedent that has been set, and instruct the ACT government to hold an inquiry into the manner in which they conducted the takeover.