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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (16 April) . . Page.. 930 ..

Ms Horodny: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: What is the point of order?

Ms Horodny: Relevance.

MR SPEAKER: This is proving very difficult. I am having a hard job here today, I can assure you.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have to say that, if you want to talk about relevance, this approach is the one that lacks any relevance to what is going on in the Territory at the present time. We will proceed with a consensual policy on contaminated sites. We hope that we will bring the rest of the Assembly with us. I am afraid that, if some people here are more interested in chasing votes than in fixing the problem, that might not be possible.

Australian Public Service - Job Cuts

MS McRAE: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr De Domenico in his capacity as Industrial Relations Minister. Mr De Domenico, here is your big opportunity to explain.

Mr De Domenico: Yes, teacher.

MS McRAE: Be good. Minister, you were quoted in the Canberra Times on 15 April, and I have heard no denial from you, as saying, "My reaction to the Public Service cuts is, `So what?'.". Will you explain to the Canberra community, and particularly to all those public servants and their families who are going to lose their jobs as a result of your party's policies, why you are so indifferent to their fate and why your only reaction is, "So what"?

MR DE DOMENICO: I am delighted that Ms McRae asked me that question. Mr Speaker, let me firstly say that I and this Government are concerned about the wellbeing of not only public servants but all Canberrans - every single one of them out there. Mr Speaker, as usual, Ms McRae and Mr Whitecross, in particular, used the media yesterday to twist some words for their own political gain.

Mr Berry: You made the statement.

MR DE DOMENICO: Now, hold on; you do not know what statement I made, Mr Berry, with respect. You were not there. They would not let you anywhere near the joint; so do not start on that one. Mr Speaker, Mr Whitecross called for my sacking over what was a total distortion, might I say, of what I actually said. Mr Whitecross was not there either, by the way, Mr Speaker, because they would not even know who he was to invite him; so, that is why he was not there. Anyway, it was a distortion of what I actually said on the matter of job cuts in the Public Service. My words were taken completely out of context.

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