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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 March 2011) . . Page.. 470 ..


people of the ACT. Well, what did the Greens believe in and what do they still believe in? You cannot believe anything they say because they are all over the shop on this issue. When they did not want a row, they did not believe in it. When they want something else, they believe in it. There is no consistency from the Greens on this issue.

Ms Hunter said that the Liberal Party had bowed out of the debate. That is not true. There is an amendment here that puts a position we have long held. We just have a different view. We want to go a different route to you. What we want to see is that, if we get the opportunity to amend the self-government act, it is all encompassing. I think that is important. As Dr Hawke says in his review, ACT issues are on the periphery of the federal parliament. If we are going to have the opportunity to amend the act, then we should look seriously at amending all of the act.

It is interesting when you look at the views of politicians such as Senator Lundy. When there was a Liberal government in the ACT, she was in favour of overriding the power of the ACT. When there was a Labor government in the ACT she was against that happening. Is it not interesting that the only consistent people in this place for a period of time over this argument are the Canberra Liberals? We believe it is time and it is appropriate to go back and look at all of the sections that hinder us from doing our job.

I go back to what Dr Hawke said. Dr Hawke mentioned the Pettit review, a review conducted by the ACT Liberals at the time. Nothing has been done by this government until the Hawke review recently. That the Assembly should be empowered to determine its own size is a fundamental issue of principle and, indeed, we should be addressing the fundamental issues of principle.

If you go to the chart on page 33 of the Hawke report, you see there is one elected representative for 14,285 Canberrans. In the Northern Territory it is one for every 685, and in WA it is one for every 977. There are fundamental things that need to be addressed. If we are, as Dr Hawke asserts, on the periphery of thought in the federal parliament, we should be taking the opportunities to ensure that we address the big issues first.

What we need to do is have an all-encompassing review, as pointed out by the Leader of the Opposition. What we should have today is support for the amendment. Again, Ms Hunter said that we have bowed out on this argument, but let us look at paragraph (1) of the amendment. We want the Assembly to affirm that it supports the rights of the people of the ACT to legislate on their own behalf upon matters within their legislative jurisdiction under the constitution of Australia. How can you vote against that? Are people in favour of that or not? There is a position put forward by the Liberal Party—we should have the right to legislate on our own behalf.

Paragraph (2) supports the formation of a broad public consultation forum to discuss and debate changes requested to the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act. It is important that we bring the public with us on this issue. It is incredibly important that they have their say about all of the issues that affect them. We should be doing this on behalf of the people of the ACT. But I do not hear the Labor Party or


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