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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2681 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Finally, we heard this week from the Electoral Commission that a political party of nurses has been formed. I always say congratulations to anybody who is prepared to put up his or her hand to do the very difficult job that all members of the Assembly do. The nurses union has been hinting for some time that this is its real agenda. Unfortunately, we now know that the political ambition led earlier this year to the blocking of a 12 per cent wage rise and better working hours. I think that is incredibly sad.

All of that shows that the true supporters of our nursing work force are not the political posers opposite or in the union, but a government which cares about wages and conditions, respects workplace flexibility, allows workplace democracy and runs the territory well enough to generate a $20 million funding increase to the hospital, in spite of the fact that it started with a $344 million operating loss.

Mr Humphries: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Personal explanations

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I seek leave of the chair to speak under standing order 46, which relates to personal explanations.

MR SPEAKER: Please proceed.

MRS BURKE: I know that women are not supposed to be in this place, Mr Speaker; at least, the Labor Party would much prefer if Ms Tucker and I did not grace this place with our presence. But the reality is that Ms Tucker and I are here, and we are here to stay. Isn't that right, Ms Tucker?

Mr Stanhope: Is this a debate, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: No, it is not a debate; it is a personal explanation.

MRS BURKE: Yesterday, Mr Quinlan was noted to say, "Condescending, bloody woman" during Mr Humphries' statement on the tabling of executive public servant contracts. For your information, Mr Speaker, the quote appears on page 58 of the draft Hansard. Mr Speaker, I would like it to be noted that I was the only woman present in the chamber at the time.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I rise to a point of order. If Mrs Burke wants to raise a point of order, there is an appropriate standing order she can go to.

Mr Stefaniak: It is a personal explanation.

Mr Berry: I have not heard one bit of a personal matter.

MR SPEAKER: I am having difficulty establishing what the personal explanation might be.

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