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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . . Page.. 3515..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

Williams claimed that he suffered memory loss after being hit in a high tackle. The symptoms of this memory loss supposedly included hazy memory, irrational and aggressive behaviour and lack of coordination. The Rugby League judiciary did not believe this excuse and has suspended Williams for what has been described as a career ending suspension.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, come to the point of the question, please.

MRS DUNNE: My question to the Chief Minister, after the context, is: were you showing any other symptoms of post-traumatic memory loss, indexed or otherwise, such as irrational, aggressive behaviour or lack of coordination on 18 January 2003?

Mr Wood: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. This question is entirely out of order, and I suggest that we move on to the next one.

MR SPEAKER: I cannot rule the question out of order. The Chief Minister is entitled to answer it.

MRS DUNNE: Were you showing any symptoms of memory loss due to trauma, such as irrational, aggressive behaviour or lack of coordination on Saturday, 18 January? If so, were you in a fit state to make decisions on that day, and what assurances can you give to the people of Canberra that you will not fall apart under pressure at a later time?

MR STANHOPE: I ask the member to repeat the question. I did not quite get the gist of it.

MR SPEAKER: The question has been asked. Mrs Dunne, repeat the question.

MRS DUNNE: Were you showing any other signs of symptoms of memory loss due to trauma, such as irrational, aggressive behaviour or lack of coordination on Saturday, 18 January 2003? If so, were you in a fit state to make decisions on that day, and what assurances can you give to the people of Canberra that you will not fall apart under pressure should those circumstances arise again?

MR STANHOPE: The answer to the question is: not applicable, no, no, yes, not applicable, not applicable.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, given that you have become a man of few words this week, does your failure to answer this question give the people any assurance that, if the situation arises again, you will have enough presence of mind to warn them that the fires are coming?

MR STANHOPE: The reason for the answer I gave is that I refuse to allow myself the indignity of responding to that sort of crass nonsense. This is the parliament of the Australia Capital Territory. This is the legislature. This is the parliament. This is the place in which we represent the interests of 322,000 people, and I will not allow myself to descend to that level. I will not get in the gutter with you, Mrs Dunne.


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