Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4804 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

For some weeks now the CFMEU - no friend of this Government or many other people - has been trying to make an issue out of the sludge pit, a facility that has been in operation in Canberra for some 20 years, Mr Speaker. It is not as if this Government put the sludge pit in. It has been there for 20 years. Just ask some people around the place how it operated under Ms Follett's Government, for example, because it was operating under Ms Follett's Government.

Mr Speaker, yesterday they managed to conscript, let us say, two of the less sharp members of this Assembly into their ranks as well. They also managed to sell the story to a particular television journalist who put to air one of the most irresponsible - in my view, and the Government's view - and factless stories I have come across in my experience, even though we tried to sort it out. We all know that Mr Berry started off life as a fireman, Mr Speaker. He then progressed to being a politician and, more recently, a lawyer and an actuary, and yesterday he gained his qualifications in environmental science as well. So, congratulations, Mr Berry! This Government, Mr Speaker, will investigate the situation at the sludge pit and do everything possible to find out where these few needles have come from. If they have come from a drain, as I suspect they have, it is very difficult to do anything about it until you find out what drain. I reiterate, however, that they have not come from one of Canberra's public hospitals; nor is there evidence of it being hospital waste.

Mr Berry should be condemned by this Assembly for yet another irresponsible act. His party has no policies, only glib catchlines like, "There's got to be a better way". The original version, by the way, Mr Speaker, I believe, is, "There's got to be a better way; we've just got no idea what it is". The second line apparently had to be taken out to make room for Mr Whitecross's photo in the pamphlet.

Mr Berry: I take a point of order. Is frothing at the mouth in order?

Mrs Carnell: That is not a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Relevance, Mr De Domenico.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, I was rudely interrupted and I ask you to protect me from the interjections of Mr Berry because the question is a very important one and it needs a very important answer. Ms Horodny, I suggest that you show some commonsense as well. Next time you get a hot tip from anyone, a phone call to my office may save you some embarrassment.

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, is Mr Berry misinformed? Minister, was Mr Berry misinformed, or was Mr Berry wrong, once again?

MR SPEAKER: That is asking for an opinion.

MR DE DOMENICO: It is asking for an opinion, Mr Speaker. I think either of the above.

MR SPEAKER: Does anybody else want to ask a question? Mr Kaine, you were first on your feet.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .