Page 4259 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 October 1991

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The only way that Montessori or any of these other schools of the type that you suggest, Dr Kinloch, will get approval for that very, very important recurrent funding is to locate itself in a growth area of Canberra or any other city. Therefore, if Montessori - I have told it this, and other people have told it - wants to establish a new school, it will need to go to one of the new suburbs of Canberra.

Ambulance Service

MR HUMPHRIES: My question is to the Minister for Health. Did he receive any written briefings concerning the Harris ambulance affair? If so, will he table those briefings?

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I am very concerned about the political attacks on individual ambulance officers which are arising from the discussion of this entire matter. The former Minister has made it very clear that he is prepared to go on some sort of vindicative attack on individual ambulance officers, because of their political affiliations, it seems. For example, there has been an attack, it seems, on officers because of their association with government. This morning I heard a report which indicated that Mr Humphries had made some reference to the association of certain officers with government.

I have to say that this raises grave concerns about how ambulance officers can be permitted to get on with their daily work. For example, this approach by the former Minister is obviously aimed at individuals within the Ambulance Service who may have taken a different position from the former Government on a range of matters. I am concerned that the management of the Ambulance Service is now being attacked because of the way that they investigated the entire affair.

The officer concerned with that investigation is somebody whom I have known for a long time. He was the superintendent of the Ambulance Service when we were in government before. I have found him to be a person of integrity and quality. He was the officer who was responsible for this investigation. He was also a person in the community who took a very strong stand against the Alliance Government over the closure of schools, and his participation in the campaign against the former Government was fundamental to the saving of Higgins Primary School. I am concerned that this former Minister is prepared to go for people because of their opposition to the former Government's position on a range of issues.

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