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Monday, 23 February 1987
Page: 566


Mr GRACE(10.40) —I wish to refer to a speech I made in the House on 9 October 1986. This speech was made following representations to me by a constituent, Mrs Dries, regarding a dispute that she was having with the Delany Hall Nursing Home. I made the remarks quoted because of my belief in statements made to me by Mrs Dries, her daughter and a member of my research staff who is no longer in my employ. I now know that the statement I made contained certain inaccuracies and I regret any embarrassment that I may have caused.

I wish to refer also to a speech made by Senator Peter Baume in another place last Thursday in which he referred to this matter. He also found cause to attack the honourable member for Barton (Mr Punch). He stated that the honourable member had failed to take any action following representations made to him by the matron of Delany Hall Nursing Home last year. I wish to inform the House that the honourable member for Barton did approach me before Christmas last year. He told me that he had been approached by the matron and he asked me for full particulars of the case. I informed him that in view of the statements made to him, I would have to investigate the matter myself. However, as a result of the holiday period and my illness over Christmas, I was not in a position to furnish him with the answer he requested as quickly as I might have liked.

I would point out that perhaps some of the criticism that has been aimed at me by Senator Baume for not checking my facts should also have applied to his unwarranted criticism of my colleague, the honourable member for Barton. I am informed that the honourable member was not contacted in connection with any action that he should have taken. In my opinion he should have been approached and had the same treatment as me. I apologise to the House.