Page 755 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 13 April 1994

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Wednesday, 13 April 1994


MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


Ministerial Statement

MS FOLLETT (Chief Minister and Treasurer): Madam Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MS FOLLETT: Madam Speaker and members, it is with great regret that this morning I have accepted the resignation of Mr Berry as Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Health, Minister for Sport and Minister for Industrial Relations. As I made clear in the debate yesterday, I have complete confidence in him as a Minister. I believe that the facts he presented to the chamber demonstrated convincingly that he did not mislead the house.

Mr Moore: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I think it is highly disorderly for the Chief Minister to reflect on the vote of the Assembly.

MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I am sure that the Chief Minister knows the standing orders well. Proceed, Ms Follett.

MS FOLLETT: Madam Speaker, far from reflecting on a vote of this Assembly, I am in fact implementing it, in my view, and recording yet again that I did not agree with it - nothing more. However, Madam Speaker, as I say, my confidence has not been shared by this Assembly and, consistent with traditions of Westminster government, Mr Berry has now offered, and I have accepted, his resignation.

Wayne Berry has been a key member of the Australian Labor Party's ministerial team in both the First and Second Assemblies. He holds the honour of being one of the Territory's inaugural Ministers. I cannot let this moment pass without recording my own views of Mr Berry as a Minister and as a person. I have always known him as an honest and dedicated Minister who has acted in the best interests of our community. He has always considered the interests of the disadvantaged and powerless people who are most in need of help from government. He has presided over a very major physical and organisational redevelopment of Canberra's health services and put in place a new Medicare agreement and health complaints legislation. In short, Madam Speaker, he has created a great momentum of reform in our health system which will provide the community with quality services at a price the Territory can afford. In industrial relations he has brought about important reforms in occupational health and safety, overseen the transition to enterprise bargaining, reformed important aspects of our labour laws and presided over record low levels of industrial disputation.

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