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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 March 2010) . . Page.. 1015 ..


consultation processes are wide. He is as much of a stakeholder as Mr Coe, and he has the same voting power in Brindabella as Mr Coe does. Mr Speaker, I welcome the contribution of members. I apologise, Ms Le Couteur, that we cannot support your amendment at this time, but we look forward to your support and, of course, to your accolades in Civic Square when we bring this legislation forward. Mr Speaker, with that I would like to say: everybody get behind Mary Porter.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (3.42): That is a very tough gig to follow up on, I must admit. There are so many analogies you could draw here, so many metaphors. There were so many breeds of dog that came to mind when I listened to Mr Hargreaves’s speech and watched him on the backbenches of government. But what we are here to discuss is the amendment that Ms Le Couteur has brought forward. We will not be supporting it. Whilst in part we agree with what Ms Le Couteur is saying, firstly, it broadens the motion significantly, almost to a point where it actually waters it down. When you broaden something so much, you run the risk of devaluing it so it does not actually have the penetration that you might hope it would.

Ms Porter’s motion is clearly about domestic animals and only domestic animals, and that is the focus of our discussion today. I think by talking about all animals deserving protection, regardless of species or whether they are agricultural, domestic or research animals, it is broadening the motion beyond what I would think would be the intention, certainly beyond my interpretation, of her motion.

It makes me think of Animal Farm—all animals are created equal but some are more equal than others. Of course, you could take the Animal Farm analogy to other places as well. I am sure Napoleon and Snowball could be likened to Andrew Barr and Katy Gallagher going for the leadership and the trouble in paradise which is brewing at the moment to the slight alterations that were made to the seven rules in Animal Farm. But I will not extend that any further than we have to.

I think we are broadening it too much if we accept the amendment. In particular, do all animals deserve protection? What does that mean? Does that mean that we are not allowed to go and cull kangaroos? Does it mean that we cannot go and get rid of stray dogs if they are a danger to native wildlife? Does it mean that we cannot try and reduce the feral rabbit population? What does it actually mean? I think all of these questions would, in fact, dilute the intention of Ms Porter’s motion.

What is next? Do we include animals in the Human Rights Act? Perhaps animals should be included so that they get all the same freedoms that we enjoy as people. Who knows? There are many extrapolations that I think we could take on. It is for that reason that the opposition will not be supporting the amendment and it will be supporting the original motion as moved by Ms Porter.

Amendment negatived.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (3.45): I appreciate the comments from other members in relation to the safeguard of the welfare of domestic animals. Obviously, as we have discussed, the government has not supported Ms Le Couteur’s amendment for the reasons that were outlined by Mr Hargreaves and also by Mr Coe in that it does


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