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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2388 ..

Question put:

That the debate be adjourned.

The Assembly voted -

AYES, 7	 	NOES, 8

Mr Berry	Mrs Carnell
Ms McRae	Mr Cornwell
Mr Moore	Mr Hird
Mr Osborne	Ms Horodny
Ms Reilly	Mr Humphries
Mr Whitecross	Mr Kaine
Mr Wood		Mr Stefaniak
		Ms Tucker

Question so resolved in the negative.

MR WOOD (9.27): Mr Speaker, in the absence of Mr De Domenico, who has been sent as far away as he could be and still be in Australia, this debate will proceed. I should make it clear at the outset that, on behalf of the Opposition, I am here today to support the consumers - the citizens of Canberra. Mr Speaker, this Assembly, like business, is here to serve the customer. The customer is always right. So, our focus is on the consumers - every citizen of Canberra. Tonight's debate is looking at a Bill that proposes one solution to a problem which we all agree exists. The debate should focus on that solution and whether that solution will work. Will this Bill do the job? I can see the problem that the Government has in the document that it put out on how to deal with retail problems. Item No. 9 tells how the Government has absolutely no answers to the problems we are debating. It is running a local centre ideas competition. The Government has no ideas of its own. More than anything else, that one page in its document tells the story.

Mr Speaker, in question time on Tuesday, the surrogate Minister, Mr Humphries, spent a great deal of time outlining the problem - not always accurately, I might say. But it is an evasion - an avoidance - for him tonight to stand up and outline the problem. We know what the problem is. That is not what we are debating. We are debating the solution. I recall a commentary on a US President who was well known for being able to outline in great detail and in great clarity the problems of the nation; but he failed to win re-election because he could never come up with the solutions to the problems. Tonight Mr Humphries may go into the lengthy reports, the debate, the newspaper articles and the representation by the business people; but we are focusing on the solution. Let us see whether Mr Humphries and Mrs Carnell - not Mr De Domenico - will stand up tonight and justify this Bill as a solution to the problems that have been identified. I do not believe that it is a solution. That is why the Opposition is opposing it.

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