Chief Minister Andrew Barr has said the federal Greens were naive for supporting a Senate inquiry into the ACT government's takeover of the Calvary hospital, while the ACT Greens doubled down on defending their federal colleagues.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also reaffirmed his support for territory rights.
The federal Greens combined with the Coalition on Thursday to refer a bill from Senator Matt Canavan to the Senate's legal and constitutional affairs legislative committee.
Senator Canavan's bill was to amend the Self-Government Act to force the territory government to hold an inquiry into the takeover of the Calvary Public Hospital Bruce.
The Greens have insisted they only supported the referral as part of "democratic processes", saying private senators' bills are always referred to an inquiry.
The party was adamant they would not support Senator Canavan's bill when it comes to the vote.
Mr Barr has dismissed the inquiry as "largely an academic exercise" but questioned the Greens over their support.
"It was naive of the federal Greens to think this was just a routine referral of a private members' bill and in that giving Matt Canavan a win," he said.
"I'm not sure that they have advanced the cause of public health reform in the ACT but I do acknowledge that they will not be voting for the Canavan bill.
"The Canavan bill is dead on arrival, it's not going anywhere."
But while the Chief Minister has largely brushed off the inquiry, ACT Labor has very critical of the Greens. The party posted on social media the Greens had "teamed up with Peter Dutton and the conservative Liberals again" and it would "undermine the democratic rights of Canberrans".
The party has started a petition targeted at Mr Dutton and the Greens around territory rights.
ACT Greens Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson reaffirmed her support for her federal colleagues but said the party would never support a bill to remove territory rights.
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"The federal Greens and the ACT Greens are both 100 per cent in support of territory rights and making sure the people of the ACT have the ability to make their own decisions about things like health care services," she said.
"It's about making sure that democracy continues to happen the way it normally should."
Senator Canavan's bill seeks to make the territory government hold an inquiry which would report back before June 30, 2024. But the Labor-controlled committee will now inquire into the bill and, by extension, the compulsory takeover and its effects.
Mr Albanese was asked about the move on Friday and said the Senate often works in "mysterious ways". He indicated he was mindful of concerns about the rights of territories.
"I support the rights of the territory to determine its own positions," he said.
"I regard that the Catholic Church or other churches have an important role to play in professional social services. I don't regard this as a precedent.
"And I think that they will continue to play an important role, whether it be in health care, in aged care, and disability care. They're an important part of our social policy architecture in this country."
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