Cansdell kicked out of Parliament
CLARENCE MP Steve Cansdell was yesterday thrown out of State Parliament for the first time in his seven-year parliamentary career after a heated exchange with NSW Police Minister Michael Daley.
But the Nationals MP is standing his ground, arguing he was only ‘fighting for his constituents’.
The row erupted after Mr Daley claimed New South Wales in general, and the Clarence in particular, was benefiting from record numbers of police officers.
“I called him a liar. This is apparently unparliamentary, but how else can you describe someone who tells porkies to the people?” Mr Cansdell said.
“Yes, I lost it, but I had reason to be angry.
“The minister claims our local area command is what he calls ‘over strength’, with 186 officers, but he failed to acknowledge that 34 of them are on sick leave – in many cases stress related because they don’t have the resources to do the job they love.
“This situation is unsafe both for Clarence families and for our hard-working cops.
“When you’ve got only one officer looking after the whole of the Lower Clarence on busy holidays and weekends, how can this misfit minister boast with a straight face that he is doing a good job? That is why I repeatedly called Mr Daley a disgrace as I exited the chamber.”
Mr Cansdell was given 30 minutes to leave the building and was unsure for how long he would be suspended.
The former professional boxer said it was the first time in seven years he had found himself in trouble with the Speaker, but hoped the publicity the incident would generate might embarrass the Keneally Government into giving regional NSW a fairer share of police resources.
“Look, we have about one officer for every 700 residents, compared to one officer for every 500 people in Sydney – and the city cops spend far less time travelling than ours have to.”