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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2224..


Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, is the only reason there is no point of order that there are only 40 people outside and there is no noise?

MR SPEAKER: Sit down, Mr Moore.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I believe there is merit in giving this Bill closer scrutiny than was given to it in 1995. To that end, I reintroduce this Bill today and ask members, particularly those on the crossbenches, to give it more attention than the short shrift it was given in 1995. At that stage the Bill was the victim of prejudice and fear - prejudice that the people, the citizens of the ACT, cannot be trusted to make their own laws and fear that some - - -

Mr Moore: I raise a point of order under standing order 52, Mr Speaker. I hear Mr Humphries reflecting on a vote of the Assembly, and I believe he should be called to order.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I withdraw any reference to the Assembly. I will say that, as far as the community was concerned, there was some fear by some people that certain people would lose their monopoly over law-making powers - in other words, they would lose some of their elite privileges. In my presentation speech for the 1995 Community Referendum Bill, I noted that introduction of the Bill marked a major milestone in the evolution of democracy in Australia. Passage of this Bill would give average people the right to initiate their own laws and the right to vote on those laws. This pioneering legislation reflects the Government's commitment to the principle that the people, not governments, have the ultimate sovereignty. If enacted, it would empower ordinary electors to have a genuine say in the laws that govern them.

Mr Moore: There has been a petition from 40,000 people.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Humphries deserves to be heard in silence. I know the Assembly is going to break this afternoon, and some of you no doubt are looking forward to your holidays, but we are still in the Assembly. I would ask you in the meantime to extend the normal courtesies to the Minister.

MR HUMPHRIES: Before I go on to refute some of the arguments put by members of the Assembly last year - - -

Mr Moore: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think Mr Humphries is yet again ignoring the point of order you have just upheld under standing order 52. Mr Humphries is using his presentation speech as a way of reflecting on a vote of the Assembly.

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not intend to reflect any further on the vote of the Assembly but I do intend to address some of the arguments that have been put in previous debate. That is certainly within standing orders.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.


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