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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1081..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

However, we in the ACT Liberal Party are a fair-minded opposition and we are more than prepared to offer a scheme that affords the benefits and recognitions due to people regardless of their sex by way of a formal commitment to each other. We are not going to mandate, apart from how they legally make that formal commitment, how they want to celebrate that formal commitment.

It is up to people in the community, whether they get married or enter a Tasmanian-type scheme, to choose the type of ceremony they want to have. For example, some people get married in a church; some people get married in a garden; and in parts of America people can have a drive-through marriage in a place like McDonald's. There are all sorts of ceremonies people might want to enter into in relationships, be they marriage or be they a registration scheme such as this. That is not in the legislation and I do not think it is right for people to determine that. Not all sorts of ceremonies are necessarily mandated, even in marriage legislation.

In commending this bill to the house, I am under no illusions that the government will be supporting this in a fit, unless it is dragged kicking and screaming because of the problems it has in relation to its bill and the federal government's legislation. That is not going to stop us from putting up what we consider to be good law that accedes to the wishes of the majority of people in the ACT.

It is also—this is fundamentally important when you are putting up laws—compatible with commonwealth legislation; it is not something the federal government is going to override. It is something that I think will bring considerable benefits to those persons in the community—be they in a loving relationship, in a same-sex relationship, in a heterosexual relationship or in a caring relationship—who want to avail themselves of this opportunity. Accordingly, I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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


Debate resumed from 8 March 2006, on motion by Dr Foskey:

That this Assembly:

(1) recognises the importance of high quality and affordable childcare being widely available across the ACT;

(2) acknowledges that childcare:

(a) can be delivered through a range of models that include private, cooperative and community providers, and that there is a role for all types of models in the ACT; and

(b) may be accessed through a variety of situations such as stand alone, work-based and other community facilities, and that there is a role for all types of situations in the ACT; and

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