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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (22 May) . . Page.. 1633..


MR WOOD (continuing):

The purpose of my speaking today is once again to make a plea to the Government - it has been done before - now to provide someone to staff that education centre on a full-time basis. I know that resources are tight; but a great deal has gone into that centre by so many people, most particularly by Miss Curley. It is such a good facility - both the original homestead and the education facility - that it really needs to be fully occupied and to have someone there who is well versed in the history and the related aspects and who can provide on-the-spot guidance to the school students who are going there. I think it is something that is important for the Government to consider. I am sure that within the Education Department or in the Environment and Land Bureau - somewhere amongst our areas - there are sufficient resources to provide that further small, but vital, level of assistance.

Members' Behaviour : Health Budget

MR BERRY (4.08): I rise just to complain, I suppose, about some of the tactics that have been used in this place to get certain matters on the record. Today in question time Mrs Carnell made a point of saying that I was smiling and joking about the issue of workers compensation, as if to say that I regarded it as an unimportant issue. Anybody who knows me or knows the Labor Party knows that that is patently untrue. It is a dishonest way to try to recast history in the Hansard. I would just say to members opposite that there is always room for some provocation in this place, but I found that a little offensive. I would have been prepared to argue a charge of gratuitous body language, but I certainly would not be prepared to contemplate a charge of regarding workers compensation as unimportant.

In relation to another matter, Mrs Carnell also said that Labor - and I think her gaze passed across my personage - was saying that we should not be treating more patients. That is nonsense. We do not say that we should not be treating more patients. We essentially criticise the Chief Minister for her management of the health budget and the health portfolio. I need not go any further than that. My purpose is not to get into a debate about those issues, but to say that we are saying that Mrs Carnell should not be treating more patients and to imply that we are saying that she should be closing beds and winding back the hospital system is just a wee bit unfair. I am not being precious about these issues. I just think it is a trifle unfair, and it is a practice that we do not need to engage in, because, indeed, history is as it is, and these sorts of comments are not going to change one bit of it.


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