Missing Woman Found after 12 Years
In a bizarre incident, a woman missing for 12 years has been found alive in the NSW Upper House.
The government has been severely embarrassed over the incident and has ordered an immediate inquiry.
How the woman remained undetected for so long despite a nation-wide search remains a mystery that may never be solved.
Her family, while obviously thrilled to see her again, are threatening legal action. They are determined to find out how their mother became trapped in the Upper House.
In an interview from her hospital where she was recovering from her ordeal, Elaine Nile spoke of the terrible discomfort she had to endure from poor air-conditioning and cigarette smoke which aggravated her asthma as she wandered aimlessly around the House.
"At one stage I found myself on the 12th floor, next to some sort of legislator who could not stop smoking. I tried to make him notice me, but, in spite of my best efforts he saw right through me," said Elaine. "It was as if I had died and gone to hell."
However Elaine admitted it was not all that bad.
"There were a few good things I remember," said Elaine. "I remember being put onto a plane with a lot of other elderly people. It was very grand. I was amazed no one questioned why I was there. It was as if I was totally invisible. But I still managed to have a good time. We went all over the place. Oh, it must have been at least 50 different countries I saw. It was very lovely, so many interesting things to look at. I will treasure those memories for a long time. In spite of everything I think it was the highlight of my life.
"It is not the sort of thing I could ever afford to do on my own," she added.
It may never be known how Elaine managed to remain undetected in the NSW Upper House so long.
According to Elaine, she just stopped trying to leave after a while.
"I just got used to it," she said. "Although, I did not like it when they made me do work. I can remember a few nights when they tried to make me work very late into the night. I wasn’t even sure what I was supposed to do. I was really tired and no one seemed to mind when I nodded off. The chairs were very comfortable.
"After a few years I discovered that if I just said yes to some things people would leave me alone. Others even went out of their way to help me — and there was always a lot of nice food and drink about. They really looked after me very well". She said
The government has ordered a full inquiry into the incident.
"The people of NSW have every reason to be worried," said the Premier, Mr Carr. "It is inexcusable that this woman could have entered the Upper House. The people of this State have every right to an answer. I am determined to get to the bottom of this. How on earth was this woman even allowed into the House in the first place and why was she allowed to remain there for so long?
"The Olympics are just around the corner, security is a shambles and the train system is a nightmare. It is impossible for me to do everything on me own," said Mr Carr.
"It is an unfortunate incident, and her family deserves an answer. So do the people of NSW who must be asking themselves just how many other elderly people are trapped in the Upper House at the expense of the tax-payer."
As the mystery unfolded it appeared many people had been aware of Elaine Nile’s presence in the Upper House and had just presumed she was supposed to be there.
Bronwyn Bishop is thrilled that the Parliament of NSW is not on the list of old-age homes to be investigated or shut down.
"I have always felt that as a nation we look after all out seniors as well as possible, whether they are in the upper house or in a nursing home — the quality of care is uniform in all institutions providing care for the aged.