Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1700 ..
MS FOLLETT (continuing):
will be denied to such voters under Mr Humphries's ban, thus limiting their capacity to fully participate in the electoral process in an informed way. Mr Speaker, the Australian Labor Party believes that this ban, an attack on the fundamental right of free speech, is misguided and misdirected. It should not proceed any further in this Assembly. However, if the Assembly does support the Bill in principle, then I give notice that during the detail stage I will be moving some amendments to eliminate some of the worst aspects of this proposed ban.
MR KAINE (11.36): Mr Speaker, it has been an interesting exercise over the last 21/2 years to watch the Labor Party trying to avoid doing what the electorate asked them to do. In 1992 we had a referendum to determine what kind of electoral system this electorate wanted, and people made it quite clear what they wanted. They wanted the Hare-Clark system, with the Robson rotation, as used in Tasmania. From that day, the Labor Party has tried to weasel their way out of implementing the results of that referendum. We saw the fascinating spectacle of the Leader of the Opposition, then Chief Minister, tabling the draft Electoral Bill 1992 and trying to introduce above-the-line voting as a part of it. That was the first step that this "responsible" Leader of the Opposition took to try to avoid implementing the will and the wish of this community.
Ever since then the Labor Party has fought against implementing this electoral system, and now we see it again. There are no how-to-vote cards handed out on election day at polling booths in Tasmania, but that does not suit the Labor Party in the Territory. They are trying to do everything to avoid implementing this aspect of the Hare-Clark system, with Robson rotation, as practised in Tasmania. They wanted single-member electorates. If they had had single-member electorates in February of this year, there would be 17 Liberals sitting in this place. It just goes to show how short-sighted they are. They cannot even read the electorate. The fact that there are so many Labor members here in this place at the moment, Mr Speaker, speaks volumes for the good sense of the Liberal Party, which opted for the system that we have now rather than the 17 single-member electorates system.
Members opposite should have listened carefully to what the Minister said in introducing this amendment to the Electoral Act, because it can only be in their interests. Apart from the fact that it complies with the strongly expressed - - -
Mr Connolly: So this is trying to help the Labor Party, is it? Joke!
MR KAINE: Listen to the former Attorney-General trying to justify not implementing the electorate's wish as expressed in a referendum. He will do anything to weasel his way out of it. This is the honourable member from Molonglo who would not be here if we had single-member electorates, I would remind him. It is fascinating. But the saga goes on. It seems to me that the Minister made the justification for this amendment quite clear in his introductory speech. The speech was quite short, but it made all of the points that needed to be made. He made the point that in Tasmania they have no how-to-vote cards within 100 metres of a polling booth. This Bill merely puts into effect the final aspect of what the community said they wanted in 1992. It has taken this long to get there.