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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 21 September 2006) . . Page.. 3038 ..

Mr Mulcahy: He is actually trying to protect the people of the ACT, Jon.

MR STANHOPE: If you do not like the civil unions legislation, go out and put your case at the next election and actually seek a change of government through the democratic process, rather than these serial attempts to undermine it. This is the third occasion in a number of months this year on which the Liberal Party in the Australian Capital Territory has completely abandoned any commitment to the democratic rights of the people of the ACT.

They advocated that the commonwealth should overturn the civil unions act. This weekend they are advocating that the antiterrorism legislation should be overturned. They refuse to support a basic amendment proposed by the Greens and supported by the Labor Party in the federal parliament that would have at least required the commonwealth government, if it sought to overturn ACT legislation, to introduce conflicting legislation so as to create a distinction between a commonwealth overriding or overarching position and an inconsistent law that it had then created within the territory, thus bringing into play section 122.

To advocate that it is appropriate for a commonwealth minister to exercise, through executive fiat, the power to overturn ACT legislation really is a shameful position. It is shameful that you are not prepared to support the basic democratic rights of the people of the ACT.

Children—grandparenting program

DR FOSKEY: My question to the minister for community services, Ms Gallagher—a trifecta for this week—is in regard to the grandparenting program that was the outcome of a partnership between Marymead, Relationships Australia and Canberra Mothercraft Society. Members might be aware that grandparents are not eligible for the funding and support that governments provide to foster parents, although they often perform a similar role. Members would be interested to know that the grandparenting program was supported by the ACT government to the tune of $15,000 to $20,000 a year—funds used to coordinate a program that referred people to Relationships Australia, produce a monthly newsletter and cater for regular support meetings—

Mr Mulcahy: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: this is interesting and historical but can we get to the question. We are having a long dissertation.

DR FOSKEY: Whose side are you on, Mr Mulcahy?

MR SPEAKER: Order! There is scope for some background in asking a question.

DR FOSKEY: Although Mr Mulcahy is not interested—he probably knows all about this program—I will explain. I understand that Marymead, which had sought continued support from the ACT government, is now attempting to fund the program itself. Could the minister please advise the Assembly what social impact analysis was conducted to inform the decision to cut funds to this small but important program and can a copy of that analysis be provided to the Assembly?

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