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Tuesday, 8 December 1998
Page: 1647

Mrs GALLUS (10:30 PM) —Last night in this place the member for Prospect made a personal attack on me. As part of that personal attack she talked about the 1998 election just past. As the member for Prospect has raised this issue, I will mention what happened in the 1998 election, including the type of campaigning that went on from the Labor team of Tom Koutsantonis, who was the manager of the team, and Steven Georganas, who was the candidate.

First of all, let me say that Hindmarsh, the seat I now occupy, was known as the jewel in the crown of the Labor Party. It was a Federation seat, a seat that they believed was theirs by right. It was an extreme upset for the Labor Party when I took Hindmarsh. It has burnt them ever since that I have held onto it. One of the Labor members in my state said to me, `The trouble is, Chris, you've got such a good hold on the seat because you have such a good reputation. Because you look after the people in the electorate so well, we will have a hard time ever getting you out of that seat.'

However, it seemed that Mr Georganas and Mr Koutsantonis thought they would at least have a try. The way they tried was to see what they could do in that seat to destroy my reputation.

Mr Melham interjecting

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Nehl) —The member for Banks!

Mrs GALLUS —Last night the member for Prospect read a letter from Mr Thomas. It was not the only letter that went through the electorate bagging me. It was one of several letters. Some of them were hard to trace as at least one, I know, came from somebody who was not registered to vote in the electorate. It was hard to identify as the address that was given was a large block of flats. However, the deed was done and the letters were circulated suggesting I had not helped people and was a bad member.

I was informed by residents of the Housing Trust homes that within the Housing Trust the Labor Party had seeded people to tell Housing Trust tenants not to vote for me because I would not see them in my office as I was a Liberal and did not look after Housing Trust tenants. As many of the tenants I look after are Housing Trust tenants, this was a falsehood and it was a particularly base thing to say. There was also a letter on euthanasia that went out. I have one that was sent to the electorate of Ms Jeanes. The one that was sent into my electorate by Mr Koutsantonis and Mr Georganas was similar.

Mr Melham interjecting

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —The member for Banks is not helping the House.

Mrs GALLUS —I will quote from the letter about Ms Jeanes. It said:

Your MP, Ms Susan Jeanes, is an active supporter of euthanasia.

. . . . . . . . .

The Netherlands has had informal euthanasia for 10 years. In a United States Congressional Report published 12 months ago, Dutch cardiologist Dr Richard Fenigsen tells of a Dutch three-year-old who had spina bifida but was otherwise in a "fair general condition." For two days he did not feel well. His parents asked for euthanasia. A nurse was appalled by this and she and her husband offered to adopt the three year old. The offer was refused and the boy was killed with drugs administered by intravenous drip . . .

Don't make Kingston—

in my letter it is `Don't make Hindmarsh'—

a place where an opponent of euthanasia was defeated by a supporter of the lethal jab.

. . . . . . . . .

PS. How would you feel to wake up the Sunday after the election to find that your vote had elected Ms Susan Jeanes—

or in my case Mrs Gallus—

as a pro-euthanasia majority in Federal Parliament?

Mr Melham interjecting

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —The member for Banks!

Mrs GALLUS —The South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society followed this up and wrote to Mr Atkinson, a state member, asking him to give the source of the statement. They telephoned, I believe, four times and were finally assured that Mr Atkinson would reply soon. Meanwhile, they faxed a letter to the Netherlands. I will read the reply from the Netherlands, from Robert A. Hall, President of the Paediatric Association of the Netherlands:

Dear Mrs Gallnor,

Thank you for your fax about the three year old boy, who was supposedly killed as an act of euthanasia. I can assure you that nothing like that happened in the Netherlands.

. . . . . . . . .

If something, like you mentioned in your letter, would happen in this country, certainly there would be a lot of protest.

So not only was it suggested in a letter that I supported the murder of a three-year-old with spina bifida, but information that such an occurrence had happened in the Netherlands appears to be a fabrication. This was only one part of a grubby campaign run by the Labor Party. (Time expired)