Tuesday, 2 February 2021
Statements on Indulgence
As members would be aware, three weeks ago I was confronted with a head-on car crash with a Range Rover. I want to thank all members of the House, both current and former members and former prime ministers, from both sides of the chamber, who contacted me and expressed their concern and provided support at an important time. It was very much appreciated.
The first person on the scene was a witness, an off-duty nurse, Ali Barton. It was a real reminder that nurses are never off duty. They provide such an important role. Ali provided comfort and advice and made sure that I remained in the car. I couldn't get out anyway. Anyone who has seen the picture knows that; the car was a write-off. Ali provided a great deal of comfort and medical advice on the spot.
To the police who arrived at the scene, Constable McDonald, Constable Valente and Probationary Constable Heinz of Marrickville police command: I thank you for the work that our police do. I haven't had contact before with paramedics, but Alex Bees and Henry Carroll were magnificent. I thank them in particular. They provided initial medical examination and advice. They provided appropriate comfort that relieved pain, and they were incredibly professional in the way that they dealt with what, at the time, was a traumatic incident that could have had long-term effects. Fortunately, that hasn't been the case.
To the doctors, nurses, orderlies, radiographers and cleaners at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital: I thank all of you. In a retrospective policy way—and I've had this discussion with the New South Wales health minister, Brad Hazzard—it was particularly good to see just how extraordinarily professional they were. Also, in the context of COVID, being a patient for 24 hours, I saw the extra pressure that our health professionals are placed under. I pay tribute to them and thank them. It's been an experience—a near-death experience—that I wouldn't wish on anyone, but I thank all those people who provided support. It was a very difficult time, but I've come through to the other end and, as you can see, Mr Speaker, I am fighting fit and ready to resume duties here in the parliament.
I'm pleased to see the Leader of the Opposition looking well. I know that was a very distressing time for him and of course for his son and others. As he knows, being a former transport minister, it's a reminder of the importance of safety on our roads. In the last few weeks we have been reminded of this again by the deaths of Kate Leadbetter, Matty Fields and their unborn child and the terrible accident that occurred up in Queensland, and the members here from Queensland are deeply distressed by that. And of course it is a year since the terrible, tragic deaths of Antony, Angelina and Sienna Abdallah and Veronique Sakr, which we marked just yesterday on what is now national I4Give Day. Safety on our roads is so incredibly important, but it's good to see you here and well.