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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5121 ..

a course of action the Assembly should consider in relation to the ACT, including whether an apology to ACT residents who have been affected by forced adoption practices is appropriate; and”.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (11.22): I will speak to Mrs Dunne’s amendment and also to Ms Burch’s amendments. First of all, I do acknowledge what Mrs Dunne was talking about around the importance of research and inquiry before we move to an apology. As I said in my speech, I am very much supportive of that. And that is what people who have been affected by these past policy and practices are calling for—they want that inquiry first so that they get to tell their stories, and so that there is a raised awareness and understanding in the community about why there is a need for an apology and what it is we are exactly apologising for.

Mrs Dunne feels it needs to be more explicit around the sequence of events—that the inquiry come before an apology. I do understand what she is saying there, but I believe the amendments and, in fact, part of my original motion under (4)(a) have that covered off, because they talk about an apology to ACT residents who have been affected by forcible removal practices.

So it is to me quite clear that we would first need to investigate the issue, have that inquiry, find out who was affected by those practices and, as I said, then understand the scope of the apology and how that apology should be delivered. Therefore, although, as I said, I do understand where Mrs Dunne is coming from, I will not be supporting her particular amendment.

But with Ms Burch’s amendments, we will be supporting the amendments that refer to the Australian Institute of Family Studies report and research that is being done into the impact of this issue. We see that as a very important part of this process, a process that has a number of stages that I believe at the end will be about an apology by this Assembly and the community to those women who were gravely impacted and affected by these terrible practices of the past of forcibly removing these children.

As I said, I will be supporting Ms Burch’s amendments, and although I understand what Mrs Dunne is saying, I will not be supporting that today, as I believe that the amended (4)(a) will quite clearly show that we are pushing for an inquiry in the first instance.

Mrs Dunne’s amendment to Ms Burch’s proposed amendments negatived.

Ms Burch’s amendments agreed to.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): The question now is that the motion, as amended, be agreed to.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (11.26): I would like to thank Mrs Dunne and Ms Burch for their participation in the debate this morning. I think that there is agreement in this chamber on the importance that we look at this issue and on the importance of moving on the issue once that evidence and information are out in the public arena.

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