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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 2 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 580..


faith and saying they are putting a barrier between those of faith and religion and this place. I find that personally offensive. I find it offensive to everybody in this place and to the broader community.

Mr Coe: Then don't vote for the motion.

MS BURCH: The Speaker has said, and you too, Mr Coe, have said, and I go back to the words that you used, Madam Speaker, on radio—that those who chose not to attend the service did not represent those of faith. That is simply not true. It has been articulated by the Attorney-General and the Chief Minister as to why we made the decision not to attend the service. It was not that we are anti faith or anti religious, or the words that Mr Doszpot was forced to withdraw, so vile were the words, to say that we do not—

MADAM SPEAKER: Those words have been withdrawn and therefore they should not be referred to.

MS BURCH: The use of words like we are discriminating against those of faith and religion is simply and absolutely, and at the core of every member of this place, not true. Mr Coe said this morning again that we are anti faith. Why? Because we choose to put a motion through that says there should not be a connection between church and the Assembly and that the secular divide should be the domain.

Mr Coe: Whether you like it or not, that is discriminating.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe, please do not interject.

MS BURCH: Again he is interrupting and saying that because we do not want to combine church and the Assembly, we are automatically discriminatory.

Mr Coe: Look it up in the dictionary.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe, order please!

MS BURCH: Mr Coe, I find it offensive that you come in here and assume that people who do not share your views are anti faith. Every one of you has stood and used the words "extreme", "anti religious", "anti faith"—

Standing orders—suspension

Motion (by Mr Corbell) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Assembly concluding its consideration of notice No 1, Assembly business, relating to the independence of the Assembly from religious faith.

MS BURCH: As a member of this place I represent the whole of my community, regardless of age, gender, heritage or faith. For those who may or may not know, I have Christian faith. I was baptised. I went to Holy Communion. I had confirmation. I


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