Page 172 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 13 February 2008

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MR CORBELL: I withdraw that, Mr Speaker. I think Mr Seselja was somewhat hypocritical in his approach, because in the same speech he indicated that he did not believe the prison was needed.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: no sooner had he withdrawn the imputation that Mr Seselja had told lies, he then went on to accuse him of hypocrisy, which is something which is not allowed, and you have ruled against it in this place on a number of occasions.

MR SPEAKER: I will not permit people to call each other hypocrites in this place. I have allowed in the past, and will continue to allow, accusations about a state of mind.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is indeed a hypocritical position from those opposite, on the one hand, to express an interest in and sentiment about helping those who are vulnerable in our community, such as prisoners, and on the other hand to assert that it is a waste of money to build a humane facility in which to house those prisoners. That is the hypocritical approach that we have from the new Leader of the Opposition. Where is his interest? He has been to the Belconnen Remand Centre. He has seen it at first hand, and he seeks to offer some seeming level of commitment to helping those who are most vulnerable and who are most reliant on government services, such as prisoners. But then, in the same speech, he seeks to denigrate the need to provide a humane facility in which to house those prisoners.

What is he saying—that he thinks BRC is all right? Does he think that it is better for those people to be accommodated in 19th century facilities such as Goulburn? Is that really the new, caring opposition leader? Is that the warm and cuddly, socially just conservative we have in the new Leader of the Opposition? It is hypocritical and it is disappointing that on only his second sitting day as Leader of the Opposition in this place he is exposed as an individual who is prepared to say one thing and then assert another. Unlike those opposite, this government will invest in improving services for prisoners in the ACT. Unlike those opposite, those hypocrites opposite—

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that.

MR CORBELL: I withdraw that, Mr Speaker. Unlike the hypocritical approach adopted by those opposite, this government will invest in a humane facility, it will invest in education programs for prisoners, it will invest in medical services for prisoners, and it will invest in a corrections system that gives them the best opportunity to be rehabilitated, in order to come back as positive and contributing members of our society. We will continue our commitment to these measures and we will not succumb to the sort of hypocritical approach we see from those opposite.

Health—patient care

MRS BURKE: My question, through you, Mr Speaker, is to the Minister for Health, and relates to visiting medical officers’ services for public patients in the ACT. Minister, visiting medical officers, or VMOs, are under contract to provide services to public patients. I have received representations from a patient referred to a VMO by his GP as a public patient for a consultation. The patient was refused a consultation on

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