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Wednesday, 15 March 2000
Page: 12829

Senator CROWLEY (2:10 PM) —My question is to Senator Herron, the Minister representing the Minister for Aged Care. Can the minister explain what was in the report of 2 March, the report which Minister Bishop cites as the reason for closing down the Riverside Nursing Home, which was not in the earlier reports of 18 February and 24 February?

Senator HERRON (Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs) —It is obvious that Senator Crowley does not read the transcript of the other chamber, because the minister gave a very detailed statement yesterday in the House. I would suggest that she read that, and she will get an answer to the question.

Senator CROWLEY —Madam President, I ask a supplementary question. Isn't it the case that all of the damning information—the gangrenous wounds, the immersion of open wounds in the kerosene solution and the maggot infested sores—was contained in the very first report of 18 February? Why did the minister have to be told the same thing three times before acting?

Senator HERRON (Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs) —One thing I have learnt about the Labor Party: check the accuracy of the facts before you ever respond to a question. As I said previously, the minister made a detailed response, and I would suggest that Senator Crowley read that answer of yesterday.