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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2460..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

consequential amendments in relation to annual reports and the Legislation Act. Those are technical amendments required as a result of this bill to be consistent with other legislation.

There are some basic responsibilities that the drafters and I very much drew from what has been done in the United Nations and with regard to the responsibilities people in our civilised society expect should be extended to other people. Part 1.1 is "Responsibilities towards others". Everyone has a responsibility to respect other people. People should indeed respect those who hold positions of authority. Conversely, of course, people who hold positions of trust and authority in our community are required to show respect to others, and they must have ethical standards and serve truth.

People need to show respect to workers in our society such as police officers, teachers and nurses-people at the coalface-who do an excellent job on behalf of society. For example, I think it is unreasonable that the police are often assaulted in the course of their duties. As my old friend and ex-legal colleague, the now departed Kevin Dobson SM, was often wont to say, "Police should not be treated like blue punching bags."I have some legislation elsewhere before this Assembly that will assist in making some offences in relation to that. That is just an example of the fact that the people who have authority in our community are entitled to respect-and conversely, of course, they should respect others.

Respecting other people includes respecting other people's freedoms and human rights. People should not unlawfully restrict people's speech or movement; people should respect everyone else's right to life; people should respect people's right to equality before the law; people should not harass, annoy or interfere with people in our community. That applies to people who are being unreasonable towards their neighbours. People, regardless of race, colour, creed should act towards each other in the proper spirit of goodwill and unity.

We deal with respect for life: no-one has the right to kill or injure anyone except in self-defence. Under "Respect for the rule of law"I have a provision that, in respecting the rule of law, everyone should assist the police and the authorities in the course of their duties and in the exercise of their functions under the laws of the territory. People should oppose inhumane actions, such as fanaticism and hateful social exclusion.

People should be honest and fair in dealing with everyone else-and I give some examples there. For example, if you do an honest day's labour, you should expect an honest day's pay for it. People who cause damage to others have a responsibility to make good that damage and, if need be, to pay financial compensation. Those examples are not exhaustive but they give a good idea of how people should be honest and fair in dealing with people. No-one has the right to rob or dispossess any group of people or individual-or to dispossess or rob the state, including the territory or Commonwealth. People have a responsibility not to lie to each other.

I then deal with some specific professions generally. In many of these areas there are codes which govern the way these professions operate. I deal with teachers, who need to behave responsibly and professionally; be good role models; assist in the character development of their students; ensure that they do the necessary personal and


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