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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (4 September) . . Page.. 3065..


PERSONAL EXPLANATION

MR BERRY: I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

MR SPEAKER: Under standing order 46?

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I refer you as well to standing order 55, the principles of which you referred to in your earlier remarks about personal explanations. During question time, in response to a question from Mr Kaine, Mrs Carnell took the opportunity to misquote a press release of mine. Mr Speaker, I would like to read from that press release. The press release goes as follows:

Deputy Labor Leader and Labor Health spokesperson Wayne Berry has described the reduction in obstetric beds at Woden Valley Hospital/Canberra Hospital as cruel implementation of Chief Minister Carnell's Thatcherite privatisation ideology.

Mr Humphries: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. It would seem to me an abuse of standing order 46 for a member to rise and, where some member has attacked an element - for example, as Mrs Carnell has done - of a statement in a press release issued by another member, for that member to read the entire release into the record under the guise of a personal explanation. If there is some element of what Mrs Carnell has quoted that is inaccurate, he could quote that bit; but to read the entire release is, effectively, an abuse of standing order 46. It is simply giving him an opportunity to read into the record a press release he issued at some point.

MR SPEAKER: I have a problem, Mr Humphries, with what you say. It would normally be more convenient under standing order 47 for Mr Berry to speak, except that he was not the person who made the statement. As you know, standing order 47 states:

A Member who has spoken to a question may again be heard to explain where some material part of that Member's speech has been misquoted or misunderstood ...

Clearly, Mr Berry did not make the statement to which he is referring, and therefore he cannot use standing order 47. At the same time, he is still within the "personal nature" of standing order 46.

Mr Kaine: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I have to agree with Mr Humphries. If Mr Berry believes that what the Chief Minister read from that statement was incorrectly read, then he can dispute it; but he cannot then attempt to take it beyond what she said and try to read some other imputation from words that she did not use. I submit that Mr Humphries is correct, and I ask you to reconsider. If Mr Berry is trying to say that the Chief Minister misquoted certain words, that is okay; but, if she did not misquote them, then she cannot be said to have misrepresented him.


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