Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 361..
Motion (by Mr Humphries) proposed:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
MR HIRD (5.08): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank my colleagues in the house for allowing me to tend to something that was not quite pleasant. I had the misfortune yesterday of having to go to a funeral on the South Coast and I just want to say that I appreciate the support I got from the Opposition, the crossbenchers and my colleagues in respect of allowing me to undertake that journey. I would like to put my appreciation on the record.
MR CORBELL (5.09): Mr Speaker, in response to my colleague Mr Hird, the Opposition has always taken the view that the provision of pairs in the Assembly is a very important mechanism to continue to ensure the workability of the chamber. We certainly take that responsibility very seriously and we always ensure that, wherever it is at all possible, we make provision for a pair so that the Government can continue to operate and the Assembly, indeed, can continue to operate. Of course, Mr Speaker, we always do so with the very serious consideration of making sure that any pairing arrangement is workable. I am pleased that we were able to assist Mr Hird on that occasion. I am sure that we will be able to continue to assist government Ministers and other members of the Government into the future whenever such an occasion arises.
MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (5.10): I wish to make two points, Mr Speaker. Whilst I agree with and thank Mr Corbell for those comments, I would like to take umbrage at something he said in a debate on youth issues. I hope that he did not mean it. He criticised and, I believe, insulted the Ministerial Youth Advisory Council by calling it tokenistic. Mr Corbell said:
It has been put to me that the bulk of people on that council are not the sort of young people who face the problems that other young people in the community do; that the bulk of that council is made up of young people who are at university and who are already well developed in their social skills, their communication skills and their development in the community.
I would ask Mr Corbell to consider what he was saying. He said that he got it from one person who did not particularly like the composition of the council. That, in itself, can always be dangerous. Apart, perhaps, from indicating that you should not listen to university-educated people because they do not know how the other half lives,