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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 105..


Wednesday, 12 December 2001

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Petition

The following petition was lodged for presentation.

Fireworks

by Ms Tucker, from 107 residents:

To the speaker and members of the legislative assembly for the Australian Capital Territory.

The petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws on the attention of the Assembly: that Fireworks in N.S.W, S.A, VIC., W.A. & QLD. are banned because they are a danger to the community and its animals.

Your petitioners therefore request the Assembly to: Immediately ban the sale of over the counter fireworks in the ACT.

The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petition would be recorded in Hansard and a copy referred to the appropriate minister, the petition was received.

Crimes (Abolition of Offence of Abortion) Bill 2001

Mr Berry, pursuant to notice, presented the bill.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BERRY (10.31): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Deputy Speaker, I believe that abortion should be safe, legal, accessible and rare. Abortion is, and will always be, a controversial issue in the community. I accept that and I want to make it clear in introducing this bill that I accept those strongly held views. All that I ask is that you consider the following questions. Should we ignore the reality of 80,000 abortions across Australia last year? Should we accept that on a strict interpretation of the law many of these women and their doctors would be threatened by a jail sentence?

Abortion itself remains a controversial issue which appears irreconcilable. I know that, but I ask for acceptance of the fact that, legal or otherwise, abortions will continue to occur. Regardless of anyone's views on the moral question, we have the collective responsibility to ensure that we cannot be charged with turning a blind eye to the reality


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