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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 930..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Surely it is a matter for political pressure rather than judicial shortcuts, the more so when many citizens are not confident that all of our judges are best suited by their training or disposition to set the right balances.

The Human Rights Act-not, as the editorial says, the bill of rights-which was passed by a majority of the Assembly, is not going to come into effect until, I think, July. Some very real fundamental issues are raised in the editorial. Indeed, some of the comments made by the learned judge also back up some of the claims by opponents that a bill of rights-or a human rights act; call it what you will-inevitably leads to the politicisation of a judiciary. Some very important points have been raised about the role that, as a result of the Assembly passing the legislation, the judiciary will now play.

I warn members that I think there are going to be some very significant problems with this bill. I think the editorial is spot on and that we will see some very interesting decisions which will probably cost our community quite a lot, not only in terms of money but perhaps in terms of a lot of angst as well.

This was a particularly timely editorial. I do not know who writes the editorials, but I think the issue is so important it was worth putting on the record.

Canberra spatial plan

MS TUCKER (5.14): I want to speak briefly about a comment I made which I had to withdraw. I said that Mr Corbell was misleading the Assembly in some of the comments he made in response to a question regarding the spatial plan. I would just like to explain why I made that comment. I was concerned that there was a bit of a glossy interpretation put on what particularly the Conservation Council said. I will just read for the record what else they said.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Tucker, I have some difficulty with the approach that you are taking.

MS TUCKER: Why is that?

MR SPEAKER: Because you seem to be attempting to justify something which you were forced to withdraw.

MS TUCKER: I do not want to do that; sorry, I will not do that. I do not want to go back to that. I just want to re-clarify some comments that were made by the Conservation Council about the spatial plan. Can I do that?

MR SPEAKER: Sure.

MS TUCKER: I felt that that was not really quite clearly articulated by Mr Corbell at question time. I do not particularly want to go into the withdrawing of the comment. Basically, the Conservation Council said that while it was pleased with some aspects of the plan, it was disappointed with others. A press release from the council stated:

Government plans to contain the city and develop more housing in central Canberra provided the best protection for the environment and are in keeping with the 21st


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