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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 3628 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

The no-confidence motion is ill founded. It is there purely for political purposes and is being supported by a few people with an axe to grind. As for Ms Tucker, she should just admit, as she ought to have admitted at the time of the last no-confidence motion, "I never voted for this Government. I do not want the Government, so I will support a no-confidence motion".

Ms Carnell: Every time.

MR MOORE: "And I will do it every time". That would be an honest approach. I do not have a problem with that because that is where you are going. If the Labor Party stood up and said, "We want to have a try at government, so we are going to put up a no-confidence motion", at least that would be a much more honest approach than this constant run of no-confidence motions that are based, not on fact, but on misrepresentation, on squeezing the report to see what you can get out of it and not balancing both sides of what the coroner says.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (4.53): Mr Speaker. I would like to begin my response to this motion by expressing, once again, my deepest sympathy to the family of Katie Bender. The loss of a child is always one of the most difficult things for any family to handle. Every time we have yet another public debate about the events leading up to the death of Katie, it must be just that little bit harder for the Bender family to grieve in private and be able to get on with their lives. But those opposite simply are not willing to allow the Bender family to get on with their lives. They want to continue to play politics with this extremely sad issue.

I have lived with this issue - I suspect all of us have, but I probably more than anyone - for the last 21/2 years. A day does not go past when I do not wish that the whole issue had never unfolded in the way that it did and that somehow somebody had, I suppose, identified the risks that were involved in the way the implosion was done and something had been done about them. Mr Speaker, over that period, I am sure you would agree, I have been subject to some of the worst kinds of political attacks and slander that possibly any public figure has ever had to endure in this country, certainly in this Assembly.

Having people in this place, staff of some of the members of this place, actually making comments that somehow I contributed directly to the death of a child is, I suspect, something that any human being would find extremely difficult to handle. I have found it extremely difficult. It has been very tempting to comment during that two-year period. I have to say that the level of provocation has been fairly high at times, not the least of which being national television programs with, as I say, a staff member of Mr Kaine being part of them. But I believe that it would have been very inappropriate for me to make any comment until after the coroner had actually reported.

Mr Speaker, the coroner is the only person who has had access to the full range of facts and information. Nobody in this chamber has seen all the information. Nobody in this chamber has had access to all of the information, including, I have to say, members of the Government. The coroner has no axe to grind. The coroner is a professional person who is trained to look at the evidence presented and come up with a report, and that is

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