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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 2037 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

It gives me no pleasure to abolish the title of queen's counsel, in effect. If the title had historically been a different title, such as senior counsel or special counsel or something of that kind, there would be no problem at all in transferring the name as well as the entitlement to members of the community to continue to confer, but clearly that cannot occur because of the nature of that title. I believe that this is an appropriate step to enhance the fairness of the operation of the ACT workplace. This follows recommendations by the Trade Practices Commission. I note that even the Bar Association, in an article in the Canberra Times on 22 September, welcomed this Bill because it tidies up the de facto situation that has been in place since the imposition of the moratorium on government involvement some two years ago. I hope that that indicates that this transition will be a smooth one and that there will not be any residual attempt to revive government involvement in the appointment of the title or involvement by the court in appointment of the title.

I am, Mr Speaker, a Liberal first and a monarchist second, and that is why I have promoted this step to the Government, and the Government has accepted that position. I hope that members will see that that is an appropriate step to take and that it is better for the operation of efficient workplaces and the best provision of service to the community that such titles not be capable of being employed by individual practitioners in this way.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.


Debate resumed from 21 September 1995, on motion by Mrs Carnell:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CONNOLLY (3.58): Mr Speaker, the Opposition will be supporting this Bill. This Bill gives effect to a promise that, strangely, both parties made in the last election campaign, and that was to provide a form of statutory independence to the Health Promotion Fund. We are pleased that this is one election promise at least that has been fulfilled in relation to health. There were many others, like the 50 beds or, "We will not close any health centres". The 50 beds seem to have gone. As for, "We will not close any health centres" - fingers crossed behind the back - "but we will sell them", that is still in the offing. We await with some trepidation a whole lot of other promises made in relation to health.

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