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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 1807..


MRS CARNELL (continuing):


What this means is that the number of main theatre procedures reported in the Woden Valley Hospital bulletins for the years 1993-94 and 1994-95 is incorrect. In fact, it is more than incorrect; it is misleading. What it actually means is that, for six months while Mr Berry was Health Minister and for a further seven months under Labor, the total number of operations was artificially inflated by an absolutely massive number. In fact, the total comes to 3,749 phantom operations - 3,749 phantom operations that were supposedly performed under Labor, under Mr Berry.

These operations, of course, were never performed. The most damning fact is that Mr Berry must have known; he simply must have known. He was the responsible Health Minister; he was the Minister responsible. Day after day Mr Berry comes to this place; he gets on television; he gets on the phone and accuses me of misleading this Assembly and the community about the performance of our hospital system; and then he blames me alone for the problems that the Government is grappling with. Today, Mr Berry, you have a problem of your own. You misled this Assembly while you were Health Minister, and your Government misled the people of the Territory into believing that there were 3,749 additional operations carried out at Woden - - -

Mr Berry: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mrs Carnell then claimed that I misled this chamber when I was Health Minister. She must withdraw that immediately.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on the point of order - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I have raised the point of order. She must withdraw that immediately.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I am responding to the point of order. It is open to a member either to withdraw the comment that someone misled or to move a substantive motion in relation to the matter. Mrs Carnell is perfectly capable of backing up what she says in this place, and I am very happy if Mr Berry would like her to move the substantive motion on that subject now; but I think it would be better for Mrs Carnell to finish her answer and then, if necessary, move a motion.

Mr Berry: She has to withdraw it.

MR SPEAKER: There are two choices, as Mr Humphries has correctly pointed out.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, there are not two choices. There is one choice. She has made a claim that I have misled. She must withdraw that. If she chooses later to move a substantive motion, that is a matter we will deal with then.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I am willing to change the words to "the figures certainly indicate that Mr Berry has misled this Assembly".

Mr Berry: No, Mr Speaker; she must withdraw the allegation that she has made on the record.


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