Concern ACT Supreme Court’s dismissal sets precedent for all medical, educational and faith institutions
It is time to up the ante, Fr Tony Percy said this morning in the wake of the Supreme Court’s dismissal of Calvary Health Care’s bid to halt the compulsory acquisition of Calvary public hospital on Friday.
Speaking on radio station 2GB, the former Vicar General and head of the Archdiocese Save Calvary taskforce said the decision had set a precedent not only for Catholic medical and educational institutions but all Christian institutions, faith institutions, and other community groups.
“There is an incredible body of people – our petition is over 40,000 now – so there are a lot of people not only in the ACT but around the country, who are rightly perceiving the problem here,” he said.
“You’d think the ACT Government will start doing other compulsory acquisitions at will, given they have been enlivened by their own legislation and the ACT Supreme Court now.
“People want a free and fair nation – well, we are getting a coercive and unjust nation out of this sort of behaviour.”
Fr Tony said while the Supreme Court had announced their decision, which he acknowledged, they had not yet given their reasons.
“It’s time-critical that we get the reasons if we want to do something else apart from the Supreme Court of the ACT,” he said.
“(The government) are saying they are going to take the whole show over on 3 July, so this is time critical. As to when they are going to give us the reasons, we don’t know. That’s a real problem.
“Of course, we were saying this particular piece of legislation didn’t even have a proper discussion in the parliament and then it bypassed their own acquisition act, and the court now has said that’s okay. We would like to see the reasons for the decision.”
Fr Tony said the fight was far from over.
“What we will be doing now is going to all the state and federal members and saying to them, okay, in your constituency, we’ve got all these different institutions that are private, religious or otherwise, can you give us a guarantee that what has happened in the ACT will not happen here?” he said.
“And the prime minister will be asked in his own electorate, and he will be asked as the prime minister of the country, and we want answers.
“You can’t treat community groups like this, whether they are faith groups or whatever they are – you simply can’t treat people like this.”