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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3096..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

parliament does and what they do in Westminster, and I am just not sure that it works. Rather than saying, "You will learn to love this institution of self-government whether you want it or not," I would argue that we need to meet people's expectations halfway.

As I have said, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am reluctant to consider the broadcasting of question time. I think that would be a difficulty. But I think we need to actively address what Mr Stanhope calls alienation, disempowerment and disconnection. I would use another term-I would say "democracy deficit". That is why I argued earlier today for a form of participation by ACT citizens in not just consultation with law-makers but involvement in the government of the territory and the decision-making processes. I think that is important to consider.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thank members for their support of the bill. I am surprised in many ways that it has taken 12 years of self-government to get to the stage of passing a bill that says, in one of its opening clauses, "A person may broadcast, or record for broadcast, all or part of public proceedings of the Legislative Assembly or a committee of the Assembly," but I suppose it is a case of better late than never. We now have this legislation on the table and it will be of advantage to us to have that power clearly embodied in a piece of law.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will make one small comment before sitting down. I note that clause 8 (1) (b) of the bill refers to section 7 (2) (c), when I think it is obvious that it should refer to 7 (2) (d). I ask you, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker and the Clerk to note the potential for that to be corrected by a Clerks amendment. I thank members for their support for this bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Defamation Bill 1999

Debate resumed from 9 December 1999, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Motion (by Mrs Burke ) negatived:

That the debate be adjourned.

MR KAINE (8.09): I thank members for allowing me to do what I understood had been agreed. This important bill deals with a subject that is of great importance to a lot of people. It is a bill that perhaps we should have dealt with long before this. It has been a long time in gestation. Unfortunately, I would have to say that if I were a teacher in Mr Stefaniak's education system, I would have to grade the bill "good effort but needs more work".


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