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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2706..


Mrs Carnell: It is all right. You can do it and I will get up and do exactly the same.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, today Mrs Carnell accused me of some untoward activity in relation to a press release. Mrs Carnell said at question time that I said that the birthing centre was closed. In fact, it said, "Birthing Centre Closing". Mr Speaker, there is no way that you could deduce anything else from the figures which Mrs Carnell claims to be an accurate representation of the hospital activity data. Have a look at the figures. Have a look at them yourself, Mr Speaker. There was no activity in the birthing centre. I think that would have to lead you to the conclusion that it is closing down, and Mrs Carnell ought to be ashamed of herself for this misleading and false information.

MR SPEAKER: This issue is closed.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care): Mr Speaker, under standing order 46 - if that was under standing order 46, so is this - - -

MR SPEAKER: Do you wish to make a personal explanation?

MRS CARNELL: I wish to make a personal explanation.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the figures that Mr Berry is talking about, after he put out a press release that said, "Canberra Hospital Birthing Centre Closing" - - -

Mr Humphries: Perhaps it is a misprint.

MRS CARNELL: It must have been a misprint, Mr Speaker. It was followed closely, Mr Speaker, by, "Carnell Gets Figures Wrong Again". Within a couple of hours of each other he determined that he had got it wrong and he had better get out of this real quick. What he did - - -

Mr Berry: Yes, because you misled me. You misled the Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: Order!

MRS CARNELL: Mr Berry indicated that I had tabled figures - I am just trying to get back to a personal explanation - that were misleading, Mr Speaker. In the house yesterday I tabled the June statistics which say, at the top of Table 3, "Non-Inpatient Statistics by Service, Occasions of Service, as at June 1996, Preliminary figures only", Mr Speaker.

Mr Moore: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I understand you allowing some lenience for the Chief Minister, having done so for Mr Berry; but there is no doubt that part of this shemozzle we have at the moment, as I see it, Mr Speaker, has to do with the fact that standing order 46 makes it very clear that such matters may not be debated. Mr Berry did debate them. The Chief Minister is debating them now. Perhaps, Mr Speaker, to avoid this sort of situation in the future when Mr Berry does not respond to what he is told, you may choose to name him under standing order 202(b).


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