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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1524 ..

Viagra - Approval in Australia : Chief Minister - Attack on Staff Member

MR BERRY (6.31): One of the things about Viagra that they said you should be careful of is that you should not take it if you have heart trouble. There is no heart over there. Those opposite certainly have heart trouble, so Viagra is something they will not be taking.

I want to express some sympathy regarding the comments that were made by Mr Kaine. I understand that the Liberals opposite would be agitated about losing one of their better performers and they might be a bit sour about Mr Kaine's departure from their ranks. It is all right for them to get stuck into Mr Kaine in this place or anywhere else because I am sure that he is big enough and hairy chested enough to deal with it himself. But I have had some experience in this place where my personal staff have been launched into by Mr Humphries, and you will recall that. It is not something new for personal staff to be ripped into here. I just think you ought not be ripping into the staff that are advising members on the performance of their duties because you do not like it. If you want to get stuck - - -

Mr Humphries: You are the last person in this place, Mr Berry, to lecture anybody about standards - the very last person.

MR BERRY: Mr Humphries interjects about standards. When public servants do not respond to the call adequately, there is a need to express a view about that performance. But when a Minister or a member is advised - - -

Mr Humphries: Why? Why is it all right to attack public servants and not personal servants?

MR BERRY: When a Minister or a member in this place is getting on with their duties, one way or another, and their adviser is seen as part of the success story, you do not go after the adviser. Go after the member or the Minister.

Chief Minister - Attack on Staff Member

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (6.33): I endorse Mr Berry's and Mr Kaine's comments. Mr Speaker, it has been a difficult week; we can probably acknowledge that. It has been quite fraught. Even in those circumstances it does behove members, if they feel the need to express some angst, to actually restrict it to those that do have the opportunity or the capacity to respond on their own behalf. Whilst I acknowledge that it has been a difficult week for everybody, the nature of the very direct attack on Mr Kaine's staff is regrettable. I hope that, even in difficult circumstances, members will pause and at least ensure that members of staff are protected from personal attacks or attacks that they do not have the capacity to respond to.

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