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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1359..


Ms Carnell: How many members of the Assembly changed their minds? Nobody.

MR BERRY: Mrs Carnell interjects, "How many Assembly members changed their minds?". If that is an argument that you intend to put forward to prevent proper debate of this Bill, I say to you, Chief Minister, that that is just not good enough. This Bill deserves a proper airing. This is a reversal. This is a turnaround from the situation that has been in place in the ACT for some years - since 1992, I think. It will impact heavily on the services that are provided by general practitioners to their patients in the referrals that they give them. It will impact on the services provided to patients by obstetricians. Indeed, I heard Mr Moore raise a matter of extreme importance to me when he referred to the professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the hospital, who has expressed grave concerns about the impact this Bill would have on women in the ACT and the provision of obstetric services.

Mr Speaker, if sense is to prevail in this place, you must err on the side of safety. It is safer to have a public debate about this issue than it is to avoid it, if you want to preserve the standing of this place. I urge you to support this suspension of standing orders, and I will subsequently urge you to support the motion I will put before you should the motion to suspend succeed.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (3.08): Mr Speaker, the Liberal Party will not be supporting this motion. Part of the reason we will not be supporting this motion is the very significant misinformation which has been emanating from the Opposition on these issues. I want to put on the record absolutely clearly, in no uncertain terms, that the suggestion that there has been some deal done between the passage - - -

Mr Berry: I am worried about the 2,000 women, Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not care what you are worried about. You are worried about spinning lies, Mr Berry, as you usually are in this place.

Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR HUMPHRIES: Look at them springing to their feet out of concern.

Mr Stanhope: That was outrageous.

MR HUMPHRIES: Well, it is pretty true, is it not? Of course, if Mr Berry is concerned about the statement, I will withdraw it.

MR SPEAKER: Please do.

MR HUMPHRIES: I must admit that there are some other people involved in that particular exercise, but Mr Berry was prepared to use those arguments here on the floor of this place. I am sick to death of this. I am sick to death of these statements which are not true coming from Mr Berry. I for one am not going to work with you when you are going to use those sorts of tactics in order to be able to advance your cause, Mr Berry. If you have such a just case against this legislation - - -


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