While the Bimberi brouhaha meandered on with strong resolve from the Liberal Party benches this afternoon, it was clear the Joy Burch bonanza is losing power and, with the 2011-12 budget in the making behind treasury doors, it was time for Katy Gallagher to again take the stand.
“Minister how will you change your behaviour to reflect the will of the Assembly that you be more honest in the future?” Brendan Smyth asked Gallagher on the subject of the success of nurse practitioners walk in clinics.
“Mr Speaker, I always am very conscious of my role as a minister and as a member of this place,” Gallagher replied.
“And I don’t see any reason to change the extremely high standards I set for myself. It’s an enormous shame to me that the standards I set for myself are not followed by those opposite.”
Gallagher grinned as Smyth, Hanson and Seselja rose to the bait, roaring, and she continued.
“The can only dream of meeting the standards I set for myself in here and guess what? The community knows it.”
The familiar sound of Gallagher and the Liberal boys baring their teeth at each other was a welcome respite after days of Bimberi, Bimberi, Bimberi.
Not that it isn’t an important issue, it is, but it’s hard to sit through hours of debate over who is to blame for the, as Vicki Dunne called it “debacle” at the Youth Detention Centre, when both the Human Rights Commissioner Helen Watchirs and the Childrens Commissioner Alisdair Roy are presently conducting independent reviews of the intuition.
The issue of a text message to the office of the Minister was placed before her at the start of Question Time and responded to within the hour.
It seems Joy Burch’s office received a text message suggesting there was “mounting evidence of a departmental cover up” regarding Bimberi.
By the end of Question Time she acknowledged her staff had indeed received the text message and told the author to write more detail in an email or the like.
The Liberals suggested Burch was making it up.
But back to Gallagher…
“Jesus, you are such a child,” Gallagher said to Opposition Health Spokesperson Jeremy Hanson after he questioned the appropriateness of recommendations made by the Environment Commissioner, Maxine Cooper, in her Urban Forest Renewal report, delivered yesterday.
Turning to the speaker, she rolled her eyes.
“Mr Hanson is a continual offender to your rulings and I think perhaps the only way to manage him is to have that public gallery stacked with members of his Lions Club and the Canberra branch of the Liberal Party because all of a sudden when that happens, Mr Hanson turns into this butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth kind of guy who says nothing other than ‘welcome to my Assembly’. And every other time when the gallery is empty you behave in the most appalling, disgusting way.”