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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1001..


MR QUINLAN

(continuing):

I wish to emphasise that, as part of the review, the commission has addressed the long-term question of the number of gaming machines that ought to be licensed in the territory. The government is currently considering the commission's report and will ultimately present the Assembly with a properly considered proposal for the number of gaming machines that is appropriate to the ACT-or some formula for the setting of a limitation on the number of poker machines-along with the necessary controls for their operation.

While the government considers the commission's view of the act, it would be inappropriate for the restrictions on the number of gaming machines permitted in the territory to be relaxed. We do not want to pre-empt the outcome of the review that is in process.

It therefore makes sense to extend the current restrictions on the number of gaming machines that can be licensed for a further two years to allow for proper consideration of this comprehensive review and for legislative amendments. As I said, we may bring forward a whole different regime or ceiling or some formula at that time or some time between now and two years' time.

I commend the Gaming Machine (Cap) Amendment Bill 2003 to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Administration and Procedure-Standing Committee

Referral of standing order 210

MRS CROSS (10.49): I seek leave to move a motion.

Leave granted.

MRS CROSS

: I move:

That Standing Order 210 be amended as follows: add the following new paragraph: (a) Standing order 210 shall have no application to a Member who is breastfeeding an infant.

Mr Speaker, on 26 February this year, Labor member for Forest Hill, Kirstie Marshall, in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, innocently entered the legislative chamber just before question time. In her arms she carried her 11-day-old baby. She took up her seat and began breastfeeding her daughter, Charlotte.

Mr Speaker, breastfeeding is a natural human right of a mother and child that should be available whenever and wherever it is necessary. Unfortunately, a literal interpretation of the Victorian Legislative Assembly standing orders meant that the member for Forest Hill was ejected from the chamber.

It was a bizarre, antiquated reaction reflecting a bizarre and legalistic interpretation of an aged institution. It was not the action of a modern, progressive and democratic parliament. We must never forget that, when most of Australia's colonial parliaments


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