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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 1826..


MR BERRY: I am sorry, Mr Speaker; if I may explain, debate is a matter of competition between two debaters. I am making a personal statement. The people who are trying to debate it are the ones opposite.

MR SPEAKER: You are making a personal explanation. Be very careful that you do not end up debating the subject.

MR BERRY: Indeed; and I am being very careful. Mrs Carnell also tried to create the impression that I regarded workers compensation as - I think I can quote it accurately - "a funny issue".

Mrs Carnell: You were the one who was laughing.

MR BERRY: Mrs Carnell interjects that I was laughing or smiling. I was not smiling; I was laughing at Mrs Carnell because she is a joke on the subject. I am well known as holding this issue of workers compensation in high regard. For Mrs Carnell to make those sorts of claims is completely outrageous. In relation to the issue of workers compensation, I was merely attempting to point out that Mrs Carnell ought not brag about taking 100 people - - -

MR SPEAKER: Order! You are now debating the issue. I will not allow that course to be followed.

MR BERRY: No, I am - - -

MR SPEAKER: You have put forward your personal explanation on the matter; you are now debating the issue when you start to talk about - - -

MR BERRY: I do not regard the issue as a funny issue. I have grave concerns for people who, as was explained by the Chief Minister, have had their workers compensation resolved, which in some cases means that they have had their workers compensation benefits stopped. That is a matter of grave concern.

MR SPEAKER: Order! You are now debating the issue.

Mr De Domenico: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Berry has continued to debate the issue.

MR BERRY: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation. I think I said in question time that no person has had their workers compensation benefits cut off, unless, of course, they have been deemed by Comcare to be ready to go back to work.

Mr Speaker, there is one other issue. Mr Berry asked for a briefing on the issue of his double-counting - the issue of the 3,700 phantom operations. I am very happy for Mr Berry to have a briefing on the double-counting that happened while he was Minister and, of course, responsible; that is fine.


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