ACT Labor MLA Tara Cheyne has “unreservedly apologised” for mistakenly referring to one of her colleagues as a veteran in the Legislative Assembly.
Her apology comes after the Canberra Liberals shadow minister of veterans affairs, Jeremy Hanson, called on Ms Cheyne to apologise, saying local veterans were concerned by her false claim.
Ms Cheyne had made the comment about ACT Veterans’ Affairs Assistant Minister Emma Davidson, saying: “I acknowledge especially Ms Davidson and the power of her voice as a minister and as a veteran.”
Following the statement, Mr Hanson accused Ms Davidson of not correcting the record and allowing it to stand.
“This is insensitive and inappropriate, and I call on both ministers to correct the record and apologise to veterans,” Mr Hanson said.
“A number of veterans who were watching or have become aware of her speech have raised the issue with me as a matter of concern.
“Their understanding is that Ms Davidson is not a veteran and for ministers to make such a false claim, or to let the claim remain uncorrected, during a debate on veterans’ suicide is both misleading and has created mistrust in the veteran community.
“I call on both ministers to correct the record and apologise to veterans for any offence at the earliest opportunity.”
Ms Cheyne has since said: “I unreservedly apologise for mistakenly referring to Emma Davison as a veteran during the last Legislative Assembly sitting week. It was a genuine mistake. I will correct the record when the assembly resumes this week.”