Hoolihan hurt in fall

A TOUR of New Zealand's Parliament House ended with an unscheduled hospital visit when Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan fell onto a granite step on Friday.

Mr Hoolihan was in Wellington with Police Minister Judy Spence researching a proposal to electronically tag serious criminals upon their release from prison.

The injury occurred when he lost his footing while walking down the staircase. He rolled to protect his head and broke his left elbow in the process.

"It was a pure accident, it could have happened to anyone, obviously though I wish it didn't happen to me,'' he said.

Mr Hoolihan returned to the Capricorn Coast yesterday and will visit hospital this week to have a further assessment of his injured elbow.

The injury means Mr Hoolihan will need to rely on his wife, Elizabeth, to get through his daily routine.

"I'm certainly going to need her to help tie my tie and do up my buttons.''

He said the injury was on his "bad side'' ? he had previously dislocated a shoulder and injured his wrist on previous occasions.

But he said the injury had given him some insight into the plight of those with permanent disabilities.

"It certainly gives you an understanding of what people with permanent disabilities go through and makes you realise the amount of help they need.''

Mr Hoolihan said the New Zealand visit had otherwise been a success, with the group getting an insight into the working of the country's corrective services.

He praised the system which places some offenders on home detention with electronic tags to ensure they didn't leave their residence.

"There needs to be ways of getting people back into the mainstream,'' he said.

He said the tags could be used to ensure paedophiles didn't go near schools or other areas of concern.

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