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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4614 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

I am writing to express very strong condemnation of your members' -

that is, the Health Services Union members -

decision to carry out strike action outside the home of citizens who are very vulnerable. I regard this action to be a breach of their right to privacy, a violation of their right to be treated with dignity and extremely insensitive to their needs and their interests.

It is the case that a resident has been physically assaulted. Physical assault is a matter which should be investigated by the police because it is against the law.

It would have been expected that your members cooperate with the police investigation given that, without a confession, all carers and people who have had contact with the victim are potential suspects. Your members, in not cooperating, risk attracting the criticism that they have something to hide.

People with disabilities deserve the best possible care and protection and, in all respects, should be afforded the same respectful responses demanded by all citizens. A physical assault is a serious matter and must be responded to seriously by the police.

Nobody would deny that your members have a very difficult and often dangerous job. Nobody would deny their right to strike. It is the fact that they have chosen to demonstrate outside the home of people with disabilities which is extremely unprofessional and inappropriate.

I would ask all of the people in this house, but particularly Ms Tucker, who has made comments in this area before, to support immediately and publicly the action of the management of Disability Services and immediately stop this situation, as the Community Advocate says, which is unfair to people with disabilities. Those people should be treated with dignity, and this act is extremely insensitive and unacceptable.

Road Safety Education Campaign

MS FOLLETT: My question is directed to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mr Humphries. Minister, in view of the disastrous road toll in the ACT so far this year, will you reconsider the position you put to the Estimates Committee on the use of funds raised through the road rescue fee and ensure that part of that estimated $2.4m is allocated towards a road safety education campaign?

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