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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 November 2006) . . Page.. 3766 ..


MR SPEAKER: I welcome to the gallery some senior public servants from China. Welcome.

Members: Hear, hear!

Questions without notice

Vulnerable workers

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Minister for Women. On Saturday, 11 November you announced in a press release that the ACT would participate in a national research project—the impact of changes in national work regulation on vulnerable workers. Minister, do you know the contact for the study that you provided, Ms Sarah Kaine? Can you tell the Assembly whether she is a member of either the New South Wales Labor Party or has an affiliation with any union?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Mulcahy for the question. Mr Mulcahy has obviously picked up the extremely mean press release that Senator Humphries put out last week, line by line essentially slagging off the reputation of a very highly esteemed researcher.

Mr Mulcahy: Is it true, though?

MS GALLAGHER: It is true that she held those positions.

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: What does that mean? She is an academic at a university. Along with other senior researchers, she has been contracted by a number of organisations, and this process will go through an ethics committee as well, although Senator Humphries has pre-empted that by already damaging the reputation of this very highly esteemed academic researcher. He did so with absolutely no grounds to do so, other than to make a vicious personal attack on a female researcher who is engaged in research about the impact of a very significant nationwide policy change on women. Shock, horror!

She has also participated, quite extensively I understand, in roles within the Labor Party. I do not think she has ever hidden that from anybody. I have to say that I have received a number of extremely angry emails from women’s organisations about Senator Humphries—

Mr Mulcahy: We have not had any.

MS GALLAGHER: Maybe they do not think you will listen or care, Mr Mulcahy. Before they respond to Senator Humphries, my understanding is that the researchers wish for the process around the conduct of the research to proceed through the ethics committee. Once that is finalised, they will be making representations to Senator Humphries about the content of his press release.

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