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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3973..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

The reason that I admire single parents is the recognition that they are doing it tough. They are doing a hard job in circumstances which are made even harder. The great majority of them are not in this situation of free choice. Few of them would describe the situation as ideal. Recognising their difficulties is not a condemnation, Mr Speaker.

Although I think that in an ideal world all children should have a father and a mother, this does not lessen my admiration for parents who do a great job despite facing huge difficulties. I certainly do not begrudge them the modest assistance that is given by the government. But we should not let the fact that heroic individuals, often at great personal cost, do a great job of parenting alone lead us to conclude that one parent or one gender role model is enough.

Ms Karin MacDonald-sick leave

MS MacDONALD (6.24): As you all know, I was absent for the last sitting and have been on sick leave for the last six weeks. I rise this evening to thank a few people after my operation and illness. I want particularly to thank Dr Anne Sneddon, who undertook my operation. I believe that she did a superlative job. Also, fantastic work was done by the nurses and staff at the Canberra Hospital.

I want to thank members and staff of this place for their kind inquiries. A couple of days after the operation I was given a very large card with the signatures of a number of people wishing me well and I was looking through it and asking myself, "Who are all these people?"I did not know who they were, but I think that was an effect of the anaesthetic in my system, Mr Speaker.

I also want to thank Alys Graham and Lisa Brill in my office for keeping the place running while I was away. I note that, while I was away, there was a censure motion in this place. I think that it was the first censure motion since my election and, of course, I missed it, but I am sure that there will be others that I will get to sit through at some point.

I would like to congratulate the new clerk, Tom Duncan, on his appointment to the position. He is no longer acting but is now for real, not that he was not for real before. Congratulations to you, Tom.

Finally, my thanks to my husband and friends for their support and to the many people who sent flowers, gifts and cards. They were much appreciated. At one stage, I felt like I was putting everybody else in the hospital to shame with the number of flowers in my room. Thank you for the support.

Homosexual couples-adoption rights

Week without violence

MS DUNDAS (6.26): I want to have a quick discussion about one of the number of weeks that we are currently celebrating, but first I would like to respond to Mrs Dunne's comments in this adjournment debate. I too attended the rally on the weekend to hear what the Australian Christian Lobby had to say about same sex parents and I was quite disappointed by what I believe to be the mistruths that they were perpetuating.


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