Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 15 Hansard (Thursday, 15 December 2005) . . Page.. 4895 ..
deserves and needs and so, too, that our men and women have the support that they deserve and need.
MR SPEAKER: The member’s time has expired.
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.12): An Assembly committee review of the functions, policies, procedures and financial performance of the ESA is not warranted and the government will not be supporting Mr Pratt’s motion.
I listened to that diatribe against the ESA management for the last X number of minutes and I make a couple of observations. Quite frankly, I think you people over there ought to learn a little bit more respect for the people that run the ESA.
Mr Pratt: That is rich coming from you, mate!
MR HARGREAVES: That is particularly coming from you, Mr Pratt.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR HARGREAVES: I will mention just a couple of selections from this hysterical outburst by Mr Pratt. He accused the previous management of emergency services in this town, the Emergency Services Bureau, almost in his opening lines, amongst other things, of nepotism. Did he put any proof of that on the table? No, he did not. He gave not one example of even suspected nepotism. He just throws that out there into the wilderness to see how it goes. It is a bit like fishing.
He used some really inappropriate language designed, I suppose, to upset managers in the ESA. He used words like “magnificent bloody bureaucracy”. That is a direct quote, Mr Speaker. I was tempted to take a point of order on that, but I decided to repeat it and tell Mr Pratt what I think of it. I think that is a pathetic display of bullying.
Mr Pratt then says that I am attempting to gag people. Access to the Ombudsman is not what I call gagging. Getting guidelines so that people can operate is not about gagging. Then, without any proof, without any examples, without any case histories, he accuses us of witch-hunting ESA staff.
Mr Pratt: We know.
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Pratt interjects; “We know,” but has he provided any evidence whatever in his speech here? He has provided none. I challenge him in his closing remarks to put evidence on the table of nepotism in the ESB, to put evidence on the table that people have been gagged and to detail the incidents surrounding them and to show, by true example, where people have been witch-hunted. I challenge him to do that. If he does not, I expect him to stand up here and admit one of two things: either that he has been misinformed, and therefore apologises for being precipitate, or he apologises unreservedly for those intemperate remarks.