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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2179..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

I also urge a point of caution. Should the Assembly wish to take any course of action in this matter, it should consider the consequences. This is a frivolous charge and one which I dismissed. This is an assertion made by Mr Davey with the deliberate intention, under privilege, of derailing an inquiry of this Assembly because he feared the outcome. Mr Davey has decided that there is antipathy towards members of his association from WorkCover, and he decided that this position may have some sympathy in the committee. So he decided to deliberately derail the process.

I have no case to answer here. What we have is an assertion. Any cursory examination of the newspaper article, concentrating on my comments-printed in inverted commas-will see that I am attributed with the views of the caption writer, with the views of the reporter.

If the Assembly wishes to go on a witch-hunt every time a member of the public alleges bias, then the committee system is at risk of collapsing. Members are elected to this place and, on taking office, swear that they will do their best for the community. I have done so in this instance, and I will continue to do so.

If Mr Davey wishes to make me a martyr for declaring publicly my fears for the community, my worries about animal welfare, my concern about the chemical make-up of fireworks and my worry that there may have been a connection, however tenuous, to organised crime, then he makes me a martyr for being an honest member of this place.

We do not go into inquiries with a blank mind, Mr Speaker; we go into inquiries with a preparedness to listen to argument and make recommendations based on the evidence. I have done just that.

Artificial Conception Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 6 June 2002, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (10.45): Mr Speaker, the opposition will be supporting this bill. As the Chief Minister said when he introduced it, the bill has a sunset clause, which was to enable the Law Reform Commission to have a look at it. The Law Reform Commission have been very busy with a number of other reports. In fact, they have brought down two reports in recent months-both very good reports, I must say-and I have not had a chance to get to this and do it justice by the expiry date, which is the end of June this year.

This bill will simply extend the date to 1 July 2004, giving them a two-year period in which to do what we wanted them to do when we were the previous government. Money also was put in the budget last year-for the financial year we are still in-to assist the work of the Law Reform Commission. I do not know what the Chief Minister is proposing, if anything, in this current budget, but that money was to help them with their work. They have two major inquiries out of the way now, and they can now look at this matter.


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