Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 March 2005) . . Page.. 837 ..
Mrs Vicki Dunne
MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.19): I rise to express my disappointment that Mrs Dunne has used a time when this place was joining together to recognise and celebrate women’s achievements to attempt to attack the reputation of two women. She said that she thinks I have double standards and that she believes I deal differently with my male children and my female children. I presume she would include in that that I deal differently with my two stepchildren and my eight grandchildren.
I am not sure how Mrs Dunne actually knows how I relate to my children and how I support them and nurture them in terms of their behaviour. I am disappointed that Mrs Dunne feels that I accept unacceptable behaviour. As I said, I have three children, one daughter and two sons, the older of whom was recently a peacekeeper in the Solomons. I have two stepchildren, one male, one female, and I have eight grandchildren, five male, three female. Mrs Dunne, no doubt you are as proud of your children as I am of mine. As I said, I do not accept unacceptable behaviour from any person, whether man or woman. I am not sure who these specific people are that behave in such a way towards me that I allow it. I neither accept nor condone this behaviour. May I also mention at this point that I am very proud to be a woman both in and supported by the Stanhope Labor government.
I am shocked to hear Mrs Dunne make assertions in relation to the student she responded to in an abusive way at the ANU. She said earlier that the student was drunk and swearing at her, if I am correct in what I heard Mrs Dunne say. This is not my recollection of the circumstances, Mrs Dunne, nor of the chain of events. I believe the student’s reputation has been called into question by your assertions. Might I remind you, Mrs Dunne, that both of us were there as invited guests, privileged persons in powerful positions, on the evening. I believe it was appropriate to behave as responsible adults. She claims men in other places behave in such a way and use four-letter words and indeed I am aware of the world in which I live. This still does not mean, Mrs Dunne, that we should accept this behaviour. I repeat: I do not.
Surely, Mrs Dunne, you and all the members of this Assembly, men and women, should model behaviour that we can be proud of, both inside and outside this place. We hold privileged positions in the community. The community expects—demands even—that we exhibit adult behaviour in our public and private lives.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (6.22): Last week I attended a meeting with the young mothers group out at the Gungahlin Youth Centre, which I think is named the Gungahlin young parents playgroup. I was very grateful for the opportunity to go out there and have a chat with them. The staff at the youth centre were fantastic in receiving me and it was wonderful to hear from a number of young mothers in the area. They meet regularly on a Friday morning. Their children have a playgroup and they get to relax and talk to other young mothers. It is a fantastic support for them. The idea of the exercise was to get a bit of feedback on some of the issues as they see them out in Gungahlin and particularly from the perspective of young single mothers—not all of them are young single mothers but most are, I think—and just to see where they are coming from.