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Thursday, 2 April 1987
Page: 1982

Mr SHARP —Madam Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Madam SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr SHARP —Yes, I do, Madam Speaker.

Madam SPEAKER —The honourable member may proceed.

Mr SHARP —This afternoon during Question Time the Minister for Health was asked a question by the honourable member for Eden-Monaro which related to a coalition drugs task force survey which had indicated that the Government's campaign against drug abuse had been a flop. During the answer that the Minister for Health gave, he made a number of assertions. Two of those were that, firstly, I had not visited drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment facilities within my electorate and, secondly, that I have no interest or sincerity in the matter of drugs. May I just clear the record by saying that there are three drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment centres in the electorate of Gilmore. The largest of them is--

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member will get on with his personal explanation. We do not want a geography lesson.

Mr SHARP —The largest of them is We Help Ourselves. I have visited that facility on a number of occasions. The other one is Oolong House. I have also spoken with and held discussions with the Director of that facility on a number of occasions, the last as recently as just a few weeks ago. The other facility is the Rectory at Kangaroo Valley. I have worked very hard to ensure that the funding for that is maintained despite the fact that the Government has tried to cut it out. On a number of other occasions I have expressed my interest in the drug matter in a sincere way, by, for example, introducing--

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member is going on to debate the issue. He has made his point.

Mr SHARP —I am not, Madam Speaker. I am literally just trying to establish my credentials as to my sincerity, which is the second part of the personal explanation.

Madam SPEAKER —You have established your credentials and your sincerity.