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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2066..


Ms Tucker: Not as long as we are alive, Bill!

MR WOOD: I borrowed it-I acknowledge that quite freely. I see no reason why this should not go through tonight. This bill is slightly different from the bill presented by the Liberals last year. This deals with death, and there are strong philosophical discussions around it. Perhaps people want to have those discussions.

Ms Tucker: Burning issues!

MR WOOD: Burning issues-yes, indeed!

Let us keep it alive for the moment, and put it through the chamber tonight. We will oppose reference of it to a committee. We will see what happens tonight as we carry on here.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Reference to committee

MS TUCKER (5.45): I move:

That, pursuant to standing order 174:

the Cemeteries and Crematoria Bill 2002 be referred to the Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity for inquiry and report by 12 December 2002;

(2) on the Committee presenting its report on the Bill to the Assembly the resumption of debate on the question "That this Bill be agreed to" be set down as an order of the day for the next sitting.

I will respond to some points that were raised in the debate before lunch. Mr Hargreaves does not believe that anyone would want to set up a private cemetery. However, in 1997 a company seeking to buy the Woden cemetery approached the then government. There was a lot of public concern at the time about the proposed buyer being a big American company but, clearly, there was commercial interest in taking over the running of the cemetery as a private concern.

Mr Kaine, the then responsible minister, said in answer to Mr Berry's question:

I made it clear that the initiative in terms of the future operation of the Woden Cemetery as a private cemetery has come from the private sector. The Government has not proposed it. The Government is considering expressions of interest that have come from the private sector.

I was a bit disappointed to hear the views of the chair of the committee, Mr Hargreaves. He said there is nothing to be gained by opening up such an issue to public comment. Contrary to what Mr Hargreaves said, this bill has been on the notice paper for three weeks. The bill was tabled on 16 May-this is not "some time". The government's


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