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The ACT Government is set to take control of the Bruce hospital site from July 3, unless Calvary opts to lodge an appeal (Supplied)

Calvary is weighing its options to appeal a legal finding that the ACT Government’s takeover of Calvary Public Hospital Bruce was lawful, after the ACT Supreme Court revealed why it dismissed the Catholic health provider’s arguments. Source: The Australian.

Lawyers representing Calvary will scour the detailed legal judgment outlining the reasons the court’s full bench rejected its argument. Calvary’s argument was the acquisition was invalid because it did not fulfil just terms.

The decision clears the way for the Government to take control of the site from July 3, unless Calvary opts to lodge an appeal.

The acquisition has been criticised by religious leaders, who say it sets a dangerous precedent that governments can legally acquire faith-based institutions.

The hospital came under fire earlier this year from an ACT parliamentary committee for its reluctance to offer abortions.

In the judgment published on Friday, Chief Justice Lucy McCallum, Justice David Mossop and Justice Belinda Baker found that Calvary’s submissions did not “demonstrate that the act as a whole is invalid”.

“None of the grounds put forward by Calvary demonstrated either that the Act as a whole or any of its provisions were laws which, by reason of … the Self-Government Act, the Legislative Assembly had no power to make,” the judgment said.

The judgment also found “there is no doubt that a payment of money may be an appropriate form of compensation for such obligations” when it came to any inconvenience or other loss suffered by Calvary.

When the decision was handed down, Calvary’s barrister, David Williams, indicated in court that the health provider intended to appeal the decision, adding that “the consideration of the appeal right is difficult without the reasons”.

The takeover will be probed by a Senate committee after senator Matt Canavan tried to introduce legislation to amend powers of the ACT Government.


Calvary weighs appeal after hospital takeover upheld (Rhiannon Down, The Australian


Andrew Barr says Calvary inquiry bill from Matt Canavan is ‘dead on arrival’ (Canberra Times)