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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3070..


Mr Hargreaves: Another senior public servant.

Mr Quinlan: Do not vilify a public servant.

Mr Hargreaves: He can have a go at me, but I cannot have a go at him. I do not intend to.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, can I ask for some quiet, please?

MR SPEAKER: Order! If you two wish to talk together, would you please go outside and do so.

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. I was responding to the mouthings of the Chief Minister, who asked me - I say "asked" instead of "demanded" - to shut up. I merely informed her I had no intention of doing so.

MR SPEAKER: Very well. Interjections are out of order, no matter which side they come from. However, Mr Humphries has the floor.

MR HUMPHRIES: These 17 new police graduates started work on 6 November. On the same day a press release advertised all over Canberra that these people are not up to the job, by way of their training, to carry on policing duties in the ACT. I do not know whether Mr Hargreaves feels that is a little bit inappropriate. If he had a concern about their level of training, he should have raised it, I would have thought, with the commissioner or with me or with somebody else. Simply branding these people as being inadequately equipped to do their job is a pretty poor and unfortunate reflection on them. I think raining on their parade was not called for. I can only echo the words of the Commissioner for the Australian Federal Police, Mick Palmer, who said:

This unwarranted criticism only serves to undermine and disrupt the working life of those members who joined the AFP today.

MR HIRD: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Minister, has the member for Brindabella in question been asked for an apology?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I never hope for the impossible. No, I have not asked for an apology. If the member concerned feels any tinge of regret, I am sure he will come forward and express his regret, if not to the Assembly, to members of the Federal Police who are so offended.

Signs Showing Aboriginal Traditional Owners

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Urban Services Minister. Minister, this morning you and I both attended a moving ceremony to meet with Bruce Elder, author of Blood on the Wattle, at the little-known memorial on the slopes of Mount Ainslie dedicated to Aboriginal soldiers who died at war. Speakers at the ceremony noted how,


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