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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 137..


MR STEFANIAK (10.24): Members appear to be somewhat confused. Earlier I tried to refer to legislation that contained the sorts of examples to which members have been referring. Tomorrow I will table a document relating to the gaming act and that will give members some idea of the provisions that are required in this legislation.

Ms Dundas referred earlier to legislation in Western Australia. She said that the court in Western Australia takes into account the wishes that are expressed by relinquishing parents. As I have not examined the Western Australian act I accept what the member said about that issue. Our act, which is quite specific, lists three examples. If relinquishing parents express a wish when giving up a child for adoption, the court has to take that into account. The Adoption Act lists the following three examples:

(i) the racial or ethnic background of the proposed adoptive parents;

(ii) the religious upbringing of the child after adoption; or

(iii) whether a single person might adopt the child.

All I wish to do is to add a fourth example-sexuality. It is illogical for any member to oppose this amendment. I cannot remember the reasons given by Ms Tucker for opposing this amendment. If she and other members oppose this amendment they will be depriving relinquishing parents of the right to have a say in the future of their children.

Mr Stanhope: On a point of order: that is simply not true. The member is asserting that we are denying relinquishing parents the right to make their wishes known.

Mrs Dunne: On the point of order: which standing order are we talking about?

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I will deal with one point of order at a time.

Mrs Dunne: The Chief Minister is debating the issue. This is not a point of order.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is the point of order?

Mr Stanhope: Mr Stefaniak suggested that government members who are opposing this amendment are denying relinquishing parents the right to make their wishes known on any subject at all. He simply does not understand the provision.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order. The Chief Minister will resume his seat.

Mr Stanhope: It is an inclusive, not exclusive, provision. The member is wrong.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

MR STEFANIAK: I disagree with the views expressed by the Chief Minister. By not supporting this amendment government members are depriving relinquishing parents of their rights. That is painfully obvious. We heard a lot of pious talk about people's rights and about removing discrimination. However, by not going down this path the government is promoting discrimination. This government is all about ideology rather


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