Page 2819 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 29 June 2011

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Mr Hargreaves on Friday night, about one minute after I got Mr Seselja’s letter, which was the first indication I had that you were extremely upset about the comments.

I rang Mr Hargreaves. I talked through the concerns that had been raised with me through your leader and asked him—indeed, in that discussion, he was mortified and said he would ring you straightaway to apologise because he did not understand that that was the impact of what he had said. That is the discussion we had. In fact, he was so mortified because he said he enjoyed his sparring relationship with you and that you would always give as good as you get and you take it. He said, “The fact that this has gone too far, I am completely mortified by this and I will ring her straightaway to sort it out.” And that happened, as I understand it.

I am very sorry that you still feel upset about this, Mrs Dunne. I am not sure what further action I can take in order to make you feel better.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Chief Minister, will you be requiring your colleagues who shared in the joke to issue an apology to Mrs Dunne, including your deputy, who has acknowledged in the chamber today that he heard the comments?

MS GALLAGHER: I think my comments around everybody lifting their game in this place—

Mr Seselja: Okay—

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Seselja, you, who sit here and interject constantly with inappropriate interjections, Mr Coe, who sits behind you, the high-fiving that you give and your laughing every time an interjection is made by you which you think is funny, is that where this is heading? I think we need to ensure that our behaviour in this place is appropriate. It gets personal; it should not get personal. People should not get personally hurt by comments of other members.

I have been hurt by members’ comments in this place. I know there are other members who have been too. We also accept that there is a part of this game that means we have to have fairly thick skins considering the comments that are made about people inside and outside of this place. But I think the lessons to be learnt from this very sad episode in the chamber is that we should not get personal and, when things are taken personally, apologies need to be given, and we need to reflect on our own behaviour. I think everyone in this place has done just that over the past week.

Transport—Majura parkway

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development and it relates to transport modal shifts and Majura parkway. Minister, last week you told the Assembly that Canberra has always had a high level of journeys by car due to:

… the provision of a very efficient and extensive road network which has focused opportunities for travel overwhelmingly on private motor vehicle use.

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