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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4245..


MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. You are taking advantage of the standing orders. Please don't do that again. If you want to make a statement at the end of question time, please seek leave to do so. Chief Minister.

MR STANHOPE: A second member of the consultative committee is Professor Larissa Behrendt, a professor of law at the Sydney University of Technology and a visiting fellow at the Australian National University. I regard Professor Behrendt as the pre-eminent indigenous lawyer in Australia. I think it was vitally important that there be an indigenous person on this committee for the sake of balance.

A third member of the consultative committee is Ms Penelope Layland, an ex-associate editor of the Canberra Times, now a federal public servant and, once again, somebody of a reputation that is simply exceptional.

The fourth member of the consultative committee is Ms Elizabeth Kelly, an executive director in the Department of Justice and Community Safety; an officer in whom I have the utmost confidence, unlimited confidence; and, once again, whose integrity is simply unquestionable and unimpeachable.

So what we have here are four outstanding Australians of outstanding reputation, of outstanding understanding in relation to the issues, of outstanding integrity; outstanding Canberrans prepared to give of their time, their energy and their knowledge to this particular function. The suggestion is they have a view-we all have views-

Mr Humphries: What is the point of what you are saying, Jon?

MR STANHOPE: Let me just answer this question because this is a serious matter. This is what you did with Ms Connors in relation to education. It is the same thing. You are all worried about it. You are anti. You have all stood up and opposed a bill of rights. Not a single one of you will support it.

You got in the ditch, you didn't even listen to the arguments, you are not interested in the consultative process, you don't care what happened at the deliberative poll, you know the government supports it, you are concerned the numbers in the Assembly might be subject to the outcome of the consultative committee's report. So now it is a case of "We are opposed, we are in the ditch, we are not interested in the consultative process, we didn't make a submission. So where can we attack? We can't attack on the issues, because that would force us to use a bit of intellectual rigor. We can't address the issues. We can't argue the case for why there should not be a bill of rights, we can't argue why we don't think rights should be set out in print, we are not interested in drawing a line in the sand. So what will we do? Where is the little niche, where do we put the knife in?"You put the knife in by attacking those who are undertaking the consultative process. You attack those who cannot respond for themselves.

You don't take me on, you don't take on the issue, you don't take on the government, you don't take on the Labor Party. You actually have a go, in the first instance, at the process. You attack the integrity of Deliberations Australia and their processes. You claim that they are biased and put up a flawed product, and then you attack those that are undertaking the consultation-four people of unimpeachable record and integrity. It is so


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