Page 4018 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 22 October 1991

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Mr Berry made much of the fact that Opposition members were not there when various things happened. There is a very simple explanation for why they were not there, Mr Speaker: They were not invited. It is, of course, the policy of this Government not to allow Opposition members to take part in processes such as those Mr Berry mentioned. They are persona non grata. They are to be shut out of this process. Witness, Mr Speaker, the Government's decision not to let any public servants attend Ms Maher's meeting on domestic violence. That is a clear indication that nothing is to be done with the Opposition that might, in some way, give them some credit for the work that has been going on.

I am very pleased to see that Mr Berry has been able to maintain the dollar amount for mental health funding in the ACT. The fact is that maintaining the same dollar amount fails to account for inflation. What Mr Berry has done has been to cut mental health funding in the ACT in real terms. More good news under the Labor Government! Really! That must be pretty strange good news. If I were a person in need of these services, I certainly would not be seeing that as good news.

Perhaps the Government does not think that people in those circumstances can understand that, in fact, it is bad news for them. We can understand that. We see through the Government's flimsy attempt to make hay out of what cannot be harvested. I have to say that I think the Government deserves to be a little bit less smug about Mental Health Week than it is. The fact of life is that the Alliance Government increased funding for mental health services, at least in particular areas.

I refer particularly to the extended hours crisis service established by the Alliance Government. We are proud about that and we believe that that was an important step to be taking towards improving the plight of people with mental illness. This Government has done nothing apparently new in this area. In fact, it only retained decisions made by the former Government and is cutting mental health services quite significantly, at least by the extent of inflation. I would not be smug about that, Mr Speaker. I would be ashamed, but of course this Minister opposite feels no shame.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Motion of Censure

MR DUBY (3.50): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move the motion being circulated in my name, namely: "That this Assembly censures Mr Connolly for misleading this Assembly in answers given in question time on Thursday and today about evidence given to the Estimates Committee concerning reductions in staff numbers in the Children's Day Care Services Section".

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