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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008-2009 Week 1 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 192..


MS PORTER (continuing):

Earlier this year the commonwealth government apologised to the stolen generations. The ACT seized the moment and the Assembly restated its apology of 1987. We continue to work for equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. There remains much work to be done in this area to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in health, education and housing. The effort required is significant and must be pursued and sustained in a way that transcends political cycles.

Article 25, clause 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services ...

The Rudd government, through the ambitious targets set and agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments, has demonstrated its commitment to closing the gap that exists in those areas. These are the building blocks for social and economic independence for Indigenous people. The ACT will continue to practically demonstrate our determination and commitment to meeting these objectives.

The prosperity we enjoy here in Canberra is not shared by everyone everywhere. As a city and as a country we must do more to realise economic rights for all people.

Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights refers to the right of humans to form families. Article 16.3 states:

The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.

This article should not be understood to exclude same-sex couples. The Civil Partnerships Act of 2008 was another demonstration of how the ACT is working towards fulfilling the tenets of the declaration.

I affirm my support for human rights, for human dignity for everyone in our community in the ACT, in our nation and in the world. I support this motion brought forward today and I encourage the Assembly to adopt this motion as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.31 to 2.00 pm.

Standing and temporary orders

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, before I call the Leader of the Opposition to ask the first question, I have a brief statement to make.


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