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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2921..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

three occasions-and the then opposition opposed the bill. Now, coming full circle, I present the bill from the opposition benches once again.

It is often said that this is an initiative supported by oppositions and spurned by governments. In this, as in other things, the Canberra Liberals have broken the mould. We believe that this policy commitment is one of the most significant we have made to the people of Canberra. This bill is one upon which all sides of politics will be judged, including the current government, simply by their commitment to giving Canberrans a real says in the way in which they are governed.

Mr Speaker, the form of representative government Australia inherited from the 19th century has to move with the times, and this is never more the case than in the ACT at the beginning of the 21st century. It is time to give ordinary voters the power to take the initiative and make decisions. We should be proud to make the ACT the home of community referenda. Of course, it may be the case that we will be beaten to the punch by developments in South Australia. In the hope that that will not be the case, I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Adventure Activities (Liability) Bill 2002

Mr Smyth, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH (10.47): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I present the Adventure Activities (Liability) Bill 2002. This bill is part of the greater suite of reforms I announced in July. It accompanies the two bills I presented last week in providing an alternative but comprehensive approach to addressing the personal injury insurance crisis.

Mr Speaker, one of the few things that Mr Quinlan understands about the crisis is that other jurisdictions are taking steps to address it. If he was paying attention at the ministerial council meeting, he would know that this bill has as its genesis the Victorian Adventure Activities Protection Act. There has been a large amount of emotion and misinformation emanating from the government about my proposed reforms. In the absence of any criticism based on fact, I can only assume that the histrionics of the other side have occurred because they do not actually understand these reforms.

But I digress, Mr Speaker. I do not mean to cast aspersions on the intellectual capacity of the government. However, Mr Quinlan has alleged that I misled people into using waivers-waivers that are, of course, useless under the Trade Practices Act. I am not sure where Mr Quinlan got the idea that I was promoting the use of waivers. Perhaps it came to him in a dream he had when he slept through the cabinet meeting that discussed part 11 (2) of the wrongs bill.


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