Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 10 March 2011) . . Page.. 753 ..
MR SPEAKER: Yes, and the Chief Minister is talking about housing affordability.
Mr Doszpot interjecting—
MR SPEAKER: I think it would useful, Chief Minister, if you could address Mr Seselja’s specific point.
MR STANHOPE: I can, but the difficulty is, of course, that the Commonwealth Bank-HIA does not address just first buyer affordability either. He says, “Are there any others like the Commonwealth Bank?” So his question is based on a false premise, because he has no understanding of the issue of housing affordability, or indeed anything else.
MR HARGREAVES: Can the Chief Minister update the Assembly on the government’s submission to the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee’s inquiry into the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Amendment (Disallowance and Amendment Power of the Commonwealth) Bill 2010?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question on a most important subject, most particularly the rights and the democratic rights of the people of the ACT and the importance of all in representing the people of the ACT, to support and advocate for and defend the rights of the people that they represent—or, in the case of the Liberal Party in this place, that they pretend to represent.
It is relevant that I inform, advise, members today that the ACT government, with a lack of agreement from the Liberal Party to a non-partisan position on this, has lodged a submission on behalf of the government without, unfortunately, the support of the Liberal Party. So it is important that I advise members of the position that the ACT government has put to the committee inquiry into Senator Bob Brown’s bill to delete section 35 from the ACT self-government act. Members would not be surprised to know that the ACT government’s submission raises this as an issue of fundamental principle—
Mr Doszpot interjecting—
MR STANHOPE: a principle that goes to democratic rights and the rights of the people of the ACT to be treated equally and on a par with other Australians. I continue to find it remarkable, following the debate this week, that the Liberal Party are not prepared to support that position, and indeed to date the Liberal Party have not espoused a position at all on the issue of their commitment to defending the rights of the people that they represent.
The ACT government—and I know this is a view shared by the ACT Greens—have made an unambiguous claim and submission to the committee that section 35 does infringe the rights of the people of the ACT; that it does treat, on any analysis or any comparison, the rights of the people of the ACT as secondary when and as compared to the rights of the states having regard to our constitutional arrangements.