Senator’s Bill to Force Calvary Takeover Fails


Queensland Senator Matt Canavan has failed in his bid to force the ACT Government to hold an inquiry into its takeover of Calvary Hospital.

The Labor-led Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee said an inquiry would ”undermine the independence” of the territories legislature.

The report, handed down on Wednesday, said the Legislative Assembly scrutinised the bill within its own procedures.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has responded, saying the committee process was a ”waste of time” and that she expected the Senate to vote the bill down.

She also claimed the entire process was a stunt by Senator Canavan to make a political point, and that this was never about ”what’s happening in the ACT”.

Senator Canavan and other opposition senators have put together a dissenting report, strongly recommending the bill be passed.

Independent Senator for the ACT David Pocock contributed to the Committee’s report, saying that forcing the Legislative Assembly to conduct an inquiry into the acquisition would undermine territory rights.

Senator Canavan’s bill came after the ACT Government’s acquisition of Calvary Hospital in July.

The Government intends to build a one-billion-dollar facility at the site in Bruce.

Leaders of Calvary Health Care, the Canberra Liberals and religious leaders in the territory have also come out against the acquisition, with Calvary taking the matter to the ACT Supreme Court.

It was later dismissed.

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