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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 13 Hansard (4 December) . . Page.. 4374 ..

Mr Osborne: Mr Speaker, I said what I said because I was trying to solicit support for my piece of legislation. I said that I do not feel that either Mr Humphries or Mr De Domenico can be trusted to regulate and to allow easier access to shopping over the Christmas break, and I stand by that. I wanted support for my legislation. I wanted it set in concrete.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Osborne, you have not withdrawn the imputations against Mr De Domenico and Mr Humphries. I will have to take action against you if you do not. Standing order 202(c) requires that, if any member has used offensive words, which the member has refused to withdraw, that member may be named by the Speaker.

Mr Osborne: Mr Speaker, as I said, I had no desire for this to become a major political issue. I think I have made my point. I withdraw the imputation that these two precious little Ministers over here are untrustworthy.

Members interjected.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Standing order 202 can be used against other members as well. Thank you, Mr Osborne.


Debate resumed from 20 November 1996, on motion by Mr Moore:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (12.03): Mr Speaker, the Bill which Mr Moore has put before the Assembly is the second attempt that has been made, since the Assembly first came into existence, to provide for four-year terms for the parliament to operate under. It is indeed surprising that we have come to the stage of having to consider the position of four-year terms in the ACT Assembly at all. It was always a matter of some surprise to me that the ACT was granted self-government in terms that provided for only three-year terms. Members will recall that on several occasions Federal governments have attempted to provide for four-year terms for the operation of the Federal Parliament. Indeed, in the last 20 or 30 years I can recall at least two attempts by Federal governments - there probably have been more - usually with bipartisan support, to generate four-year terms by amendment to the Australian Constitution. I recall that an attempt was made in 1977. There was also a special referendum in, I think, 1985. It certainly was in a non-election year.

Mr Whitecross: They are the ones with bipartisan support that the Liberals campaigned against, are they?

MR HUMPHRIES: In 1977 the Liberal Government put the proposal forward and received support, and I believe that in 1985 there was also support from the Liberal Opposition. There were other items on the referendum which did not have support from the Opposition, but my recollection - and I stand to be corrected

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