Page 4264 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 October 1991

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MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, the reason that I first refused to volunteer detailed information, such as internal working documents, about the affairs of the Ambulance Service was that I knew that the Liberals would be prepared to make a vindictive attack on ambulance officers to achieve cheap headlines, and that is what they are doing now.

Over the years I have become acquainted with a large number of ambulance officers. I have known a number who have been union officials, and I have had personal knowledge of them. I have known a lot of Australian government service officers; I have known a lot of Liberal Party members; I have known a whole range of people. But I can tell you that I am not going to volunteer information to this Assembly to allow the Liberals to embark on a kangaroo court without giving individual officers the right to put their cases and be heard. I think, Mr Speaker, this is a disgraceful attack by the Liberal Party on an individual ambulance officer, and it does them no credit.

Lobbyists - Identification in Assembly Precincts

MR JENSEN: My question is to the Chief Minister. Does her Government issue passes or other forms of identification to recognised lobbyists in the same way as the Federal Parliament does? If not, will the Chief Minister consider such a course in the future?

MS FOLLETT: I thank Mr Jensen for the question, the first part of which is very easily answered. No, we do not issue passes to recognised lobbyists, and, Mr Speaker, the Government has no such proposal under consideration.

Ambulance Service

MR KAINE: I would like to ask a question of the Minister for Health, also in connection with the Harris ambulance affair. I preface my question by saying that I am not on a witch-hunt against any ambulance driver, trade union official or otherwise. But I would like the Minister to answer, for once, a question about the procedures in his department. Amongst the papers that were presented last night was a letter from Mr Len Withers of the Board of Health to Mr Peter Harris, which I think was dated 29 July. I would like the Minister to tell me: Was this the only formal reply that Mr Harris received as a result of his complaint? I think that is a very fair question. The second part is: Who was responsible for the deletion from that letter of the only paragraph which gave any clue that an ambulance officer had not acted in accordance with the established procedures? Since that is the crux of this problem, I suggest that that is a fair question, too.

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