Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Attorney-General

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia

Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care

Shadow Minister for Sport

Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Senator for South Australia


9 JUNE 2023


A Senate Inquiry should be convened to examine the ACT Government’s outrageous forced acquisition of Calvary Hospital in the wake of the ACT Supreme Court dismissing the hospital’s challenge to the acquisition.

The Coalition will examine the Court’s reasons for the decision when they are available.

Shadow Attorney-General Senator Michaelia Cash said: “What the Court confirmed today is that the ACT Government’s appalling use of public power for ideological reasons is lawful.”

“This will see ACT residents lose out. The ACT Government has shown it will resort to the worst form of bullying and standover tactics if it doesn’t get its way,’’ she said.

“Today’s decision simply confirms that those bullying, and standover tactics are legal in the ACT,’’ Senator Cash said.

Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care Senator Anne Ruston said: “The ACT Government’s hostile takeover of the Calvary Hospital is a worrying sign for ACT residents in need of health services.”

“It sets a dangerous precedent for other vital religious health services, including Aged Care homes – what will this Labor Government do next?” Senator Ruston said.

Calvary is running a public hospital which has provided essential health services to the Canberra region for many years.

Last year, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr went to Calvary and said – you’ve got 76 years to go on your lease, but we’ll let you continue operating the hospital for 25 years. Calvary negotiated in good faith. It even offered land back to the ACT Government.

“The message is clear. If you don’t give the Labor Government what it wants, it will take it,’’ Senator Cash said.

“The ACT Government has avoided scrutiny on this issue. They did not do any public consultation on the acquisition and used their numbers in the legislature to block an inquiry,’’ she said.

“ACT residents deserve to know the truth of what has happened here, and how it will affect them,’’ Senator Cash said.

“A Senate Inquiry will be able to get to the bottom of this sordid affair,’’ she said.