Page 2913 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 24 June 2009

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One of the reasons for bringing people together for the lunch, though, was to acknowledge the 17 years of selfless services that Margaret Reid AO has delivered to the community that the Spastic Centre covers, people with cerebral palsy predominantly. I wanted to put it on the record, as I did in the speech, that I hold Margaret Reid in very high esteem, particularly in this case. The Spastic Centre also launched a magazine, which I would like to table a copy of for members’ interest. I table the following paper:

Step by step—The Spastic Centre newsletter—Issue 1 Winter 2009.

If my memory serves me correctly, a child is born with cerebral palsy something like every 18 hours. An enormous number of children are born with this affliction and we still do not have a cure for it. The Spastic Centre does some wonderful things for these people and their families.

This was a family-centred celebration, and I am sure Mr Doszpot will join with me in highlighting that point. It was not done on a client focus—it was family focused—and I wanted to congratulate the centre on that.

I would also like to make reference to yesterday’s episode where Mrs Dunne referred, inappropriately in my view, to the Chief Minister’s behaviour as having “spac attacks”. I thought that was inappropriate and sought the withdrawal of that phrase, and indeed Mrs Dunne did retract it. But she said, “If Mr Hargreaves is offended by that, I have no problem at all in withdrawing.” I would like the record to show that I am not a client of the Spastic Centre. I was offended as the minister for disability—not for my own sake but on behalf of all of the people who are clients of the Spastic Centre, and the Spastic Centre itself. I really think that Mrs Dunne ought to apologise to those people, not to me. To say, begrudgingly, that she would withdraw this remark with such awful phraseology I do not think is acceptable. I said thank you to her after she did it, but it happened so quickly that I did not actually digest it enough. I think that we members here have a responsibility to be a little bit more judicious in what we do.

I can recall, in fact, making comments earlier on in my career which offended some people. When I found out the depth of that, it has affected me profoundly ever since. I would urge members to learn some lessons from that. But I would also ask Mrs Dunne to really think long and hard about the offence that those sorts of throwaway lines can cause—not to me, because, quite frankly, I do not give a heck about what people say about me in the chamber; I have been here long enough to have survived all that. But we are trying to normalise the lives of these people who are afflicted with cerebral palsy and I think these phraseologies are unacceptable and that Mrs Dunne should apologise to them and not to me.

But I do, I hope, join with Mr Doszpot in celebrating Margaret Reid’s contribution.

Spastic Centre

Hon Margaret Reid AO

Vision Impaired Sport ACT

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (6.05): Mr Speaker, I would like to join Mr Hargreaves in his acknowledgement of the Hon Margaret Reid and for the contribution that she

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