Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 3 Hansard (1 June) . . Page.. 709..
MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):
good we are, how progressive we are. What bunkum that is! Why are we changing something? If it ain't broke, why fix it, for heaven's sake? It ain't broke. We have the Ethnic Communities Council saying that it ain't broke. We have every denomination or church in the country saying that it ain't broke. We have the community out there saying that it ain't broke.
Mr Moore: You have some of your own members saying that it is broken.
MR DE DOMENICO: They are not saying that. Mr Berry says, "If we are brave enough and intelligent enough", for heaven's sake. Brave enough to do what? What earth-shattering thing are we doing today? We are just getting rid of tradition for the sake of getting rid of it. He said that it is a simple thing to do. Of course it is a simple thing. You have the numbers. It is very simple. Nine beats eight every time. Wow! Fantastic! You can count. What are we talking about? The changing of two words, "Almighty God". We have seen that Almighty God could be any god or any number of gods. Gee, are we not good? We are going to break tradition for the sake of breaking tradition.
Ms Tucker said that the Assembly is forcing people to do things. This Assembly has never forced anybody to do anything. It will never force anybody to do anything. If you do not want to do it, you do not do it. If you do not want to turn up, you do not turn up. You have talked about respect for beliefs. Everybody here, I should imagine, respects everybody else's beliefs. I certainly do.
Mr Moore: Well, show it.
MR DE DOMENICO: I might not agree with some other people's beliefs. Mr Moore says, "Show it". I am showing it, Mr Moore, by expressing my opinion. Mr Moore said that intolerance is clothed in different ways. Yes, it is; you are right. But I do not know what that has to do with this argument. Diversity, I think, is catered for in what we have now. There have been no motions for change out there in the community. We are changing for the sake of change. Whenever we change for the sake of change, we are the laughing-stock of the country.
MR WHITECROSS (12.03): We are here not for our own glory but to represent the people of the ACT and their interests. This motion is about allowing us to confront this reality daily. The motion allows us to do so by prayer or by reflection, according to our own beliefs and our own spirituality. At the same time, the motion provides for us to do this together, as members, in a way that is consistent with our collective responsibilities to the people of Canberra. As such, it continues this Assembly's tradition of having a visible and tangible representation of our collective responsibility in this regard. There has been some comment that the amendment provides some sort of downgrading of our practice in this matter. I do not agree. There is nothing elevated or virtuous about a ritual which is unacceptable or meaningless, or even offensive, to a significant proportion of our membership. We should all, whether we have a personal faith or not, be striving for a form that allows us to stand together to contemplate our responsibilities.