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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2260 ..

Mr Berry: I move:

That the time allotted be extended until this debate is concluded.

Mr Kaine: Surely, Mr Speaker, that is out of order when a member of the Assembly is on her feet and speaking.

MR SPEAKER: Order! We will cross that bridge when we get to 12.30 pm. You have one minute and 34 seconds left, Ms Horodny.

MS HORODNY: I have one last point to make, Mr Speaker, about the petition. It does not refer to this proposal or this legislation. It simply says:

... any legislation to restrict shopping hours in the ACT will be against the interests of shoppers and will cause job losses.

It is absolutely vague, it does not pertain to this particular proposal, and it is unscientific. It is important that we ignore this petition.

MR OSBORNE (12.26): Mr Speaker, I had a dream. I had a dream of life under the Greens. It was a bit like watching Little House on the Prairie - getting home at 6 o'clock, weaving the baskets and going to the corner general store.

Ms Tucker: What about closing liquor outlets, Mr Osborne? You like closing things early. You are a wowser.

MR OSBORNE: Goodness me. Walking around in sandals and sheepskins, and going down to the general store to do all the shopping. What a load of drivel. Mr Speaker, I will be brief. I will not be supporting this motion by Ms Tucker because of one particular point. I think what we have seen here is a stunt on the part of the Greens. I am quite startled that we are debating this whole issue. I can only assume that the Greens have seen through this stunt that the Liberal Party tried to pull on trading hours, and that that is the only reason they have put this up.

Quite frankly, Mr Speaker, I think the Greens have realised that, overwhelmingly, the public have been very vocal in their disapproval of this stunt that Mr Humphries and Mr De Domenico have tried to pull. Unfortunately for us here in the Assembly, they have fooled the Greens too. They fooled the Greens with the little game that they have played, and I think the Greens, to their credit, have seen through that. I think the Greens have realised that they have been too vocal in support of it and cannot back out. The only way they can save a bit of face is to put up this motion. Mr Speaker, I have to say that I think that is what has happened. The Greens have seen 40,000 signatures on a petition obtained over three or four days. I suppose that in itself is very frightening for them, as I would imagine it is for the Government.

I have to say, quite frankly, that we all should see through this, as we should have seen through what Mr Humphries tried to pull here. All he has done is try to appease his friends on the Small Business Council. He has tried to keep them happy. I cannot, for the life of me, see how shutting five major shopping centres is going to help suburban shops.

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