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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 12 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3978..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

He was not as critical as Ms MacDonald would have us believe. He was of course raising some concerns but he was saying that to some extent he would give them the benefit of the doubt. Last time he had concerns but actually it was not bad; it was actually good, and things worked out better. So maybe, instead of misquoting church leaders or telling us that because it is in Rerum novarum or because there are a couple of church leaders who are against it, we have to somehow take orders from them or do exactly as they say. Church leaders have a legitimate place in all aspects of public debate. I do not begrudge them being able to say that and add to this debate. But to suggest that, because church leaders are against something, it is therefore bad policy is flat out wrong.

I think. It has been suggested that because some church leaders have raised concerns, you should not be able to do it and that, if you happen to be Catholic and a Catholic leader has said something about it, you cannot do anything. That is absolute rubbish; it is sectarianism at its worst. I would ask that Ms MacDonald and the other people in the Labor Party stop scaremongering and debate it on the issues. Do not sit there misquoting people and throwing out things about Catholicism and saying that we will all be ruined. Maybe have a legitimate debate and have a look at the numbers.

You have talked about things being in black and white. Have a look at five per cent unemployment, seven per cent interest rates and record levels of economic growth—they are all in black and white—over the past nine years. I would counsel Ms MacDonald and her colleagues to look rationally at those matters, rather than having the hysteria we have seen from the ACTU, from the federal Labor Party and from the ACT government.

MR SPEAKER: The time for discussion has now expired.

Dangerous Substances (Asbestos) Amendment Bill 2005 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 22 September 2005, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.04): The bill deletes sections 47K and 47L of the act to prevent them from becoming effective on their scheduled commencement date of 16 January 2006. As it stands, section 47K requires an owner or occupier of a building to find out if there is any asbestos in that building and, if so, where it is and its condition before engaging in any high-risk activities such as renovations or demolition. That section was due to commence on 16 January 2006. Section 47L requires a person selling a property to obtain an asbestos survey report and make that report available to prospective buyers. It was also due to commence on 16 January 2006.

Omitting sections 47K and 47L prevents them from commencing. The amendments to this bill arise from the report of the ACT Asbestos Taskforce. That task force has recommended that the commencement of sections 47K and 47L be deferred to a date later than January 2006 to allow time for adequate review of its whole range of recommendations—of which there are 25—on asbestos.

As we heard in the then acting minister's speech, the government has generally accepted the recommendations of the task force but has gone further, by repealing sections 47K


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