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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (18 April) . . Page.. 1107 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

No, Mr Speaker; I am afraid that these Greens opposite are telling us that they know these things to be true. I say to them that I do not believe that they have a shred of evidence to base that on, except their own supposition. I, at least, am relying on the professional opinion of those appointed by the previous Government to advise this Government and the previous Government about weapons issues. The advice we have had, including advice from a criminologist, is that it is better to have this kind of sport played in regulated circumstances than to have the consequences of not allowing it to take place, which presumably include things like people engaging in violent activities in an unstructured or illegal way. I want to accept that basis for proceeding and get on with the business of making these decisions.

Mr Speaker, the Greens are quite happy, when it comes to surveillance cameras, for civil liberties to become more important than safety issues; but, when it comes to paintball, safety issues are apparently much more important than civil liberties. There is a considerable gap in the credibility of these arguments which they have not explored. The onus is on you and those opposite in the Labor Party to say why we should not have a sport, which is played widely up and down the eastern seaboard of Australia, also available in the ACT. It is widely available up and down the eastern seaboard of Australia, but not in the purest ACT. You prove the connections you allegedly make between a violent society and the playing of violent games.

Ms Follett: You prove that it is safe, then. Come on, you prove that it is safe.

MR HUMPHRIES: No. Other jurisdictions, I think, have proved that it is safe. You prove that it is not safe. Mr Speaker, that is the challenge that I lay down. I simply appeal to Ms Follett, who has promised to move the disallowance motion, to do so in the next sitting so that we can clear the air on this issue once and for all.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Ministerial Statement

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (4.06): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on directions for taxis and hire cars.

Leave granted.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I make this statement to the Assembly on Government reforms for the ACT taxi and hire car industries. The Government has identified changes to regulation following fruitful discussions with industry and within the ACT Public Service. The changes will allow for significant improvements in the manner in which taxi and hire car services cater for the needs of the ACT community. This includes the restricted hire vehicles which cater for weddings and school formals.

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