Page 245 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 13 February 1991

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So, really, you are in a glass house and you are throwing stones. I think you should not be so churlish as to refuse to acknowledge the improvements this Government has made, apart from any valid criticisms you may well have. The fact of the matter is that the current Minister, Mr Humphries - - -

Mr Berry: You are a bit short on facts, Bill.

MR STEFANIAK: I am almost paraphrasing you there, Wayne, actually. That is one of your phrases, is it not - "the fact of the matter is"? I think it is quite correct to say that the current Minister is doing a very good job with the ambulance services and deserves praise where praise is due, not the denigration that you are giving him. He certainly has my confidence and I will be interested to see whether in the next 12 months anyone complains to me about anything being wrong in the Ambulance Service, because certainly no-one has over the last 14 months - quite unlike the time when you were Minister.

MR SPEAKER: The time for this discussion has now expired.


MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I would like to make a personal explanation.

MR SPEAKER: Do you claim to have been misrepresented?

MR BERRY: Yes, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Please proceed.

MR BERRY: It has been alleged that in some way I was attacking the credibility and professionalism of ambulance officers. I want to make it clear that, as I mentioned during my speech, one of the reasons that I raised this matter of public importance was my concern about the conditions under which ambulance officers are forced to work, because of the staffing shortages. To say that I would attack the ambulance officers in the course of this debate is an outrageous, cruel and uncalled-for statement. It is the product of a small mind and it reflects no credit at any level on those who make those sorts of allegations.

One of the things that I have learnt from my experience over many years of working professionally with ambulance officers is that they are a dedicated group - - -

Mr Kaine: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Is this a statement or a personal explanation?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I think you have adequately made your point, Mr Berry.

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