The Unjust Compulsory Acquisition of Calvary Public Hospital Alpha & Omega Operation

It is one year since the ACT Labor-Greens Government compulsorily acquired Calvary Public Hospital.

Calvary Public Hospital began operating in 1979, and it was invited by the Commonwealth Government in 1971. It operated for 44 years and had 76 years left on its 120-year lease.

The ACT Labor-Greens Government passed legislation rather than use its Lands Acquisition ACT 1994 to carry out the compulsory acquisition. In other words, the ACT Labor-Greens Government did not follow its own rule of law. Justice went missing.

We should remember: Nobody should be dispossessed of their land and property without proper consultation and just compensation. The ACT Labor-Greens Government did just that – contravening lawful property rights.

We should remember: certain realities make for a free and fair society. The rule of law is certainly one of them, secure property rights are surely another.

We should remember: the motivation for the compulsory take-over was religious discrimination.

In 2022, the ACT Labor-Greens Government conducted an enquiry into the availability of abortion in the ACT. The ACT Standing Committee Health Report was released on 10 April 2023.

Astoundingly, the report accused Calvary Public Hospital of restricting ‘medical services’ ‘due to an overriding religious ethos.’

Yet that same report noted that neither The Canberra Hospital nor Calvary Public Hospital perform abortions (except in exceptional circumstances). Abortions are day procedures carried out by other medical providers in the ACT.

It was blatant religious discrimination. The government denied this, but actions speak louder than words.

We should remember Section 116 of the Australian Constitution:

No official religion. No compulsion in religion. There is no restriction on religion. No religious discrimination.

How utterly brilliant.

We call this the ‘right to religious liberty,’ protecting believers and unbelievers.

Of course, the most fundamental human right is the right to life.

Then comes the right to religious liberty, enabling people to have the freedom and right to search for the meaning of life and then to express and pursue this belief in communities.

The next ACT Election will be held on Saturday, 19 October 2024.

We will ask those running for office a simple question requiring a simple answer:

In light of what happened to Calvary Public Hospital, can you guarantee the property rights of all private institutions in your electorate, whether religious or otherwise?

Candidates’ responses will be published. All they need to say is, ‘Yes or No.’ If there is no response, that, too, will be published.

Sadly, the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Anthony Albanese, ‘washed his hands’ of the unjust compulsory acquisition.

Can anyone imagine John Curtin, Robert Menzies, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating or John Howard acquiescing to such rapacious behaviour?

The next Federal Election is due by May 2025. Candidates will be asked the same question.

We are calling this the Alpha & Omega Operation.

The unjust compulsory acquisition of Calvary Public Hospital must be the first and last time this has happened in Australia.

We need to find our voice.

If we don’t, then we can expect further, more audacious-rapacious attacks on religious freedom in our country.

The free and fair country our founders established will be no longer.

Father Anthony Percy


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