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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2378 ..

MR STEFANIAK: What absolute rubbish, Mr Speaker! We heard this man this morning going on about the motion from the Greens cluttering up his desk, about one more report, one more inquiry and about another matter going to a committee. Now he has the incredible gall to stand here tonight and want this debate adjourned. I find that absolutely amazing.

I make a couple of very quick points, Mr Speaker. Firstly, Mr Berry was going on about Mr De Domenico not being here. As the Chief Minister said, Mr De Domenico is off on Government business. I draw the member's attention to standing order 80, which states:

A Minister, in the absence of another Minister, may act for and on behalf of that Minister in relation to any business before the Assembly of which that other Minister has charge.

That takes care of that particular point. This debate has gone on in the community for a great length of time. I think both sides of the debate - both the people from the supermarket chains who were here on Tuesday and the small business people from the small shops and the suburban shopping centres who were outside this Assembly this morning - would expect this Assembly to debate this Bill and come up with a conclusion.

Mr Berry, who did not want to support the Greens' motion this morning, now states that he wants to further defer debate on this Bill. I find that incredibly hypocritical. I think it would be far preferable, and I think the community would expect it of this Assembly, to debate this Bill and come to some conclusion on this very controversial issue that is so vital to the Canberra community. For Mr Berry to stand here and try to adjourn it is hypocritical in the extreme.

MR MOORE: I seek leave to speak, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I think it is very strange that we should make a decision and then consider whether it is a good idea or a bad idea. The Liberals went to the community saying, "We will be an open and consultative government" and the Greens, time and time again, have talked about consultation. In fact, Ms Tucker chaired a committee that looked at processes of consultation. I hope to have a copy of that report here shortly. The point about the processes of consultation is well made. Think back to the attitude of people to consultation on planning issues. For some years, even though the process was fairly carefully and fairly accurately followed - and Mr Wood would testify to this - whenever there was some suggestion that there was already an outcome in mind people became very angry indeed. It is quite clear that if we pass this legislation today and then go to the community for consultation that process will be viewed with disdain.

It is not a case of the Labor Party or I opposing the motion this morning and then having the hypocrisy, as Mr Stefaniak suggests, to take this approach this evening. The point is that this morning it was quite clear that the Liberal Party and the Greens together - the Glibs - wanted this legislation to pass. When I spoke, that was the ground upon which I said that we should deal with the motion that Ms Tucker had put before us.

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