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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2385 ..

MR CONNOLLY (continuing):

the death of Mr Warren I'Anson. What I had said was that Mrs Carnell's policy of recruitment freezes and her policy of the Booz Allen consultancy, which has led to a devastation of morale in the Department of Health, are directly responsible for the difficulties in recruiting staff to the mental health crisis team. In that sense, I said that Mrs Carnell was directly responsible for some of the problems that the mental health crisis team had been facing, which we pointed out a month ago, when it was revealed under questioning from us in question time that the mental health crisis team had collapsed for the first time in four years and when I said a month ago that we might face a tragedy if that was not resolved.

I have never said that Mrs Carnell is personally, directly responsible for the death of Mr Warren I'Anson. That would be an outrageous thing to say. I am sure that, had I said it, which I did not, the I'Anson family would have spoken to me, and they certainly have not. I have not made that statement. I find it offensive and degrading that Mrs Carnell would make such an assertion, under whatever personal pressure she may be after a torrid day in this place.

Mrs Carnell: I am happy to accept that explanation and apology. Thank you.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, it is yet to be withdrawn.

Mrs Carnell: I am happy, on the basis of an explanation and an apology, to withdraw, as I am sure - - -

Mr Connolly: I am sorry; I have not apologised to Mrs Carnell, because I never made the comment. I explained what I said, and I think Mrs Carnell has herself withdrawn and, I presume, apologised.

MR SPEAKER: I would regard the situation now as being that both sides, I hope, will be satisfied with the explanations that have been provided.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on the matter of imputations, the clear imputation of the sly and shabby question asked by Ms McRae today in question time was that Mrs Carnell is in some way responsible for selling shoddy, substandard goods to disabled people. That is an equally unworthy comment to make on the floor of this house. Clearly, it has no substance, and I therefore ask Ms McRae, in the same spirit, to withdraw the statement.

MR SPEAKER: Ms McRae, would you - - -

Mr Moore: See how hard it is when you form an alliance.

Ms McRae: Mr Speaker, Mr Moore had some advice for me there.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ms McRae, ignore the interjections.

Ms McRae: We know all about the Liberals, Mr Moore; it is all right. I find this quite amazing, Mr Speaker. We had the question two hours ago. Of course I will withdraw.

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