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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 May 1995) . . Page.. 498 ..


Families : Anniversary of First Assembly Sitting

MR HIRD (5.00): I join with the two previous speakers in paying a tribute to families, and I also commend Mr Osborne for raising this matter.

The first matter that I wish to draw to the house's attention is the matter that you, Mr Speaker, raised at the start of today's proceedings: This is the sixth anniversary of the first sitting of the Legislative Assembly after self-government was granted in 1989.

Today is also a very joyous occasion for Fred and Bertha Hardy, who moved from Young to live in the village of Hall in 1960; and from there they moved to their current residence in Hackett. They had six children; they now have 11 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Today is their sixtieth wedding anniversary. That needed to be said. Congratulations have already gone to them, but I think it should be recorded in Hansard. The family is a very important part of society, as my two learned colleagues indicated. Families are the backbone of society. We must take our place and be responsible for the actions not only of ourselves but also of families in society in general.

Emergency Ambulance Service

MR WHITECROSS (5.02): Mr Speaker, I wanted to rise in the adjournment debate to allude to some matters that were raised earlier in the day's proceedings, in question time, when Mr Humphries, in answer to a question from Mr Kaine, alluded to an issue that I had raised with Mr Humphries of how 000 emergency calls were being handled. In the course of Mr Humphries's answer he indicated that the standard procedure in relation to a 000 call was that it would ring four times; then, if the first operator did not answer, it would ring another four times; and, if the second operator did not answer, it would be answered by the police. Mr Humphries went on to note that the police were unable to find a record of a call having been handled by the police along the lines that my constituent had indicated to me. I accept that the police may not be able to find a record of the call. I do not want to die in the ditch over whether or not the police have a record of the call, but the truth of the matter is that my constituent made the call. His story matches up exactly with the outline of the normal procedure which Mr Humphries explained to us earlier, that is, that the phone rang eight times and was answered by a police officer.

Mr Humphries then went on in the manner that Mr Connolly alluded to earlier in the week, in that he set up the proverbial straw person; that is, my raising of this issue was entirely an attack on the police force, and I should go down on my knees and apologise for having slurred them. In the process, he implied that my constituent had made up the story and had not been telling the truth. I think my constituent's story is very well borne out by what Mr Humphries has had to say. I am not interested in getting into a slanging match with Mr Humphries over the police records. The issue that I raised is that, if the police do answer a call after eight rings, they should have procedures in place to handle the call. Mr Humphries has not been able to explain those procedures to date in the house. The actual experience of my constituent was that he was simply told to phone again and try his luck a second time.


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