Forestry, health set for debate

FORESTRY policy and the state of the Royal Hobart Hospital are expected to dominate Parliament this week.

Debate on legislation unwinding the forest peace deal will begin on Wednesday, and it is likely the troubled Royal Hobart Hospital will again lead question time.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson is set to reveal hospital leadership roles in this week's sitting of Parliament.

Mr Ferguson confirmed on the weekend that hospital boss Jane Holden was removed from her position as acting chief executive of Tasmanian Health Organisation South on Friday, after the governing council advised the government that it had lost confidence in her ability to do her job.

Mr Ferguson said Ms Holden had reverted to her  position as chief executive of the Southern Tasmanian Area Health Service, which was disbanded two years ago.

In the last sitting of Parliament Mr Ferguson announced a taskforce would be brought in to review the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment, at a cost of $1 million.

The immediate priority of the taskforce, headed up by John Ramsay, would be to review all existing governance arrangements and project documentation.

Greens health spokeswoman Cassy O'Connor said Mr Ferguson was ``creating uncertainty and fear'' within the Health Department.

``Shuffling the deck chairs in the DHHS bureaucracy is a bit like fiddling while Rome burns,'' Ms O'Connor said.

Resources Minister Paul Harriss yesterday described this week's sitting as ``D-Day'' for Labor on forestry.

Mr Harriss called on Opposition Leader Bryan Green to support the legislation that unwinds the forest peace deal and opens up 400,000 hectares of forest for logging in six years.

``Are Labor with us and the people of Tasmania who voted to tear up the job-destroying forest deal, or are they still with the Greens?'' Mr Harriss said.

A Labor spokesman said the party would announce its position on the Liberals' forestry policy ``in due course''. 


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