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Anthony Albanese (ABC News/7.30)

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has intervened in the increasingly bitter dispute over the ACT Government’s forced acquisition of Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, insisting it is not driven by religion. Source: Canberra Times.

The Labor leader, himself a Catholic, has stepped into the Calvary controversy just ahead of the expected passing of legislation in the Legislative Assembly to allow the Government to compulsorily acquire the hospital by July 3.

Canberra Health Services is expected to start running Calvary from that date.

There has been a furious backlash to the takeover from Calvary management, the Catholic Church, the Canberra Liberals and federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.

Mr Dutton has called on the Albanese Government to intervene to stop the acquisition. Members of the Church have echoed the call.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and the Australian Medical Association are also concerned by what they regard as a lack of consultation.

However, the ACT Labor-Greens Government insists the full integration of the public hospital network was needed as it moves to establish a new $1 billion hospital in Canberra’s fast expanding north.

Mr Albanese said he backs the territory government’s move.

“The ACT Government are expanding their public hospital service delivery and restructuring healthcare provision as a result,” he said.

“It is not seen as providing any precedent by the ACT Government and should not be by anyone else.”

The Prime Minister’s intervention comes as the ACT Legislative Assembly is expected to pass the legislation for the compulsory acquisition of the hospital on Wednesday.


Anthony Albanese intervenes to back ACT Govt on Calvary acquisition (Karen Barlow, Lucy Bladen, Adrian Rollins, Canberra Times)