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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (4 September) . . Page.. 3084 ..


MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer): Mr Speaker, I would like to make a personal explanation under standing order 46. Mr Berry indicated to the Assembly earlier that I had cut funding to a particular disabled swimming program. The reality is - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I heard you point out earlier that, if people wanted to debate these issues in the course of a debate, they could do it.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment. There is not a debate going on at the moment.

Mr Berry: No. I understand that. There were plenty of opportunities earlier for her to debate this issue.

MR SPEAKER: "Where a member's word has been doubted or impugned". Continue, Chief Minister.

MRS CARNELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was not aware that the debate we just had was on disabled swimming. I thought it was on buses for Paralympians. I am sorry, Mr Speaker. During that time Mr Berry indicated that I had cut funding to a disabled swimming program and that I was dreadful, shocking, horrible - and all the rest of the things that he said impugning my character.

Mr Speaker, the reality of the situation is that this Government provided $9,000 in seed funding to set up a disabled swimming program in Civic. There was no request whatsoever for recurrent funding. There was a request for $9,000 to set up a program. Mr Speaker, interestingly enough, they put in another application for $9,000 for a disabled swimming program at Tuggeranong, which we are looking at, I suppose, in a very favourable light. Mr Speaker, Mr Berry's comments about me - indicating that somehow I had done something against or to impact upon the capacity of people with disabilities to learn to swim - are certainly not true. In fact, I personally - this Government - made available money for a disabled swimming program, money that was never made available under a previous government.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Sport and Recreation): Mr Speaker, I also seek leave to make a personal explanation under standing order 46. During the course of the debate which the Chief Minister has just spoken on, Mr Berry raised the extraneous point in relation to funding for disabled swimming. I might point out to Mr Berry - - -

Mr Berry: On a point of order, Mr Speaker - - -

MR STEFANIAK: Will you sit down and shut up. If you listen, you might learn something. Mr Speaker, he made a few derogatory comments in relation - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I never said that. I said that Mr Stefaniak was incompetent. I would like to see him answer the challenge.

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