Page 3424 - Week 09 - Thursday, 21 August 2008
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Yes, it is. Mr Berry, would direct your comments to the bill, please.
Mrs Dunne: No. Get him to withdraw them.
MR BERRY: I am happy to withdraw that, Mr Assistant Speaker. I merely said that he would not be able to recognise one.
Mr Mulcahy: Mr Assistant Speaker, will you ask Mr Berry to withdraw the remarks and not qualify them?
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Mulcahy, Mr Berry was just withdrawing the remarks.
MR BERRY: I am happy to withdraw those remarks. But, you know, you need to recall where Mr Mulcahy comes from. Here is someone who has worked in the tobacco industry, for heaven’s sake, who is talking about ethics.
Mr Mulcahy: I raise a point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker. That has got absolutely nothing to do with the bill. I ask you to direct Mr Berry to confine his remarks to the bill and the debate.
MR BERRY: I am. This is about the ethical position of members in this place. Issues were raised about my standard of ethics in my role as Speaker in the Legislative Assembly. One of the big enemies to be found of politicians is a hypocrite, and I am merely pointing out some of the hypocrisy in the claims by Mr Mulcahy that there is something wrong with my ethical position. I just point that out for the sake of clarity so that members understand where Mr Mulcahy is coming from.
I have to say, too, that it was a most poisonous and grubby move by Mr Mulcahy to attack a member of staff in this Assembly. If Mr Mulcahy wanted to raise that question, I would have been delighted to deal with it in the committee of inquiry which looked into these issues to which he was party. I wonder why it was that he did not do that. I just wonder why that was. Was it because it was not a concern then or it has never been a concern or it is not an issue? It has just become an issue today because Mr Mulcahy has been attached, if you like, to a policy of open slather on the employment of family members by members of the Legislative Assembly and he feels a little bit caught out so he has got to attack anybody within range and spray everyone.
This demonstrates the indecency of what Mr Mulcahy has just done. Mr Mulcahy knows that the employee he has referred to here is employed by the Clerk. He is not employed by me. I have no role in the employment of this staff member—none at all. I consulted with the Clerk when I learnt about it to make sure that his employment arrangements did not interfere with the operations of the Assembly and that there could be no conflict and I was satisfied with the Clerk’s explanation of the position to me.
The intemperate and ugly approach by Mr Mulcahy today, the indecent approach by Mr Mulcahy today, in his desperation to try and make a point about anything in this