Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson said this afternoon she was suspended from the Legislative Assembly this morning for three hours for objecting to Kiama MP, Gareth Ward’s verbal abuse of a female Parliamentary colleague.
Ms Watson said that she is only raising this matter to respond to a press release issued by Mr Ward earlier this afternoon.
“Mr Ward called my Parliamentary colleague, the Member for Maitland, Jennifer Aitchison MP a series of names during and after her contribution to a debate on a debate on Shellharbour Hospital.
“I simply used my right as a Member of Parliament to request the Temporary Speaker enforce the Standing Orders requiring Mr Ward to refer to all of his Parliamentary colleagues by their proper titles.
“I can take Mr Ward’s verbal abuse on the chin and give as good as I get, but my other female Parliamentary colleagues should not be subject to his verbal abuse without objection”, she said.
Ms Watson said that regardless of her suspension from the Legislative Assembly this morning, Mr Ward could not escape the fact that he voted against an amendment which would have required the State Government to provide a precise start and finish date on the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital.
“I fully support the State Government’s election commitment to upgrade Shellharbour Hospital.
“I am so supportive of it that I want it to begin as soon as possible.
“For some obscure reason for which I can’t understand, Mr Ward can’t or won’t join my call”, she said.
Ms Watson returned to the Legislative Assembly this afternoon for Question Time.
6 August 2015