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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1792..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

If traditionally these people had been called, say, senior counsel, as they are now to be called, I would have no difficulty in having the profession continue with the use of that name. But the use of the words "queen's counsel" implies a government- or state-sanctioned appointment, and that, I think, we cannot continue. If Mr Connolly would care to put forward an amendment to allow us to support the use of the words "queen's counsel", even when it was the profession, not the Government or the court, that appointed them, I would guarantee to support that amendment. It would be most unusual, but I would support the amendment. I do not think Mr Connolly will bring that forward, however.

MS TUCKER (12.17): The Greens will be supporting Mr Osborne's amendment. It is based on the value of choice, and that is what we think it offers. Questions of the significance of the Queen are personal and people should have the choice to use that form of allegiance. The question of who are the people of the ACT to whom you are swearing allegiance, which Mr Kaine raised, I think, is an argument about words. The essence of that is that you will be working to the best of your ability for the wellbeing of all people in the ACT.

MR KAINE (12.18): I support the amendment put forward by Mr Humphries. I also support the amendment put forward by Mr Osborne, and I do so because it gives us a choice. What I particularly object to in Ms Follett's Bill is that she would deny me the right to do what I think is right and proper. I do not believe that that is the prerogative of this Assembly, this parliament, and that is why I am opposed to her Bill. Mr Humphries's amendment allows me the choice. Mr Osborne's amendment extends that choice even further.

Ms Follett's Bill seems to rest on some assumption that Australians do not want to have anything to do with the Queen and that we should therefore strike her out of our public and private lives. She seems to have developed a view of some sort of common man. I presume that she has read too much French and American history and not enough English history. The English had a revolution too, which led to the present constitutional monarchy system that they enjoy and that we enjoy.

There seemed to be a further inference that people coming to Australia as migrants do not want to recognise the Queen as the head of state. That is a fallacy. People come to this country as migrants because they think our system is better than the system where they come from. They do not make the choice to go to France or the United States; they make the choice to come here. You do not see too many people knocking on the door trying to get into the modern Russia or the modern China. We have more potential migrants than we can cope with. Does that not say something about the fact that those people see our system as desirable? Why is it, then, that the Labor Party, not only here but elsewhere, seeks to destroy it? Despite Mr Whitecross's attempt to justify the thing, it is clear that the Labor Party sees this as just another part of the jigsaw that fits into their republican push. If they can establish a quasi-republic here, they see that as a step in the right direction.


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