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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 463 ..

Leave to Present

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to present the Litter (Amendment) Bill 1998.

Leave not granted.

Suspension of Standing Orders

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (11.27): Mr Speaker, apparently leave is not granted, so I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Moore from presenting the Litter (Amendment) Bill 1998.

I think it is rather petulant that the Labor Party decided that they would not grant leave. This is not the first time that something like this has happened. On Tuesday, 27 August 1996, the Chief Minister tabled and presented the Artificial Conception (Amendment) Bill 1996 in her capacity as a private member. How did she do that? If you read from the minutes of that day, you will see:

Mrs Carnell (Chief Minister), by leave, presented a Bill for an Act to amend the Artificial Conception Act ...

That Bill was on the matter of surrogacy, on which the Chief Minister did not have the support of the Executive. The precedent was set. Why would it possibly be that Labor would oppose leave for me to introduce this Bill? I am keen to hear their explanation as to why that would be the case. It seems to me that they are frightened of change; that they are embarrassed. One can understand their embarrassment. They are the true conservatives. As soon as we talk about any form of change, as soon as something does not come into the box in which it was put, they do not know how to handle it and they do not want to accept that change. What are they frightened of? Why are they not prepared to grant a member in my position leave? I am not using private members time. I got agreement from the Government to use Executive business time.

Mr Berry: I will explain, Michael.

MR MOORE: Mr Berry interjects that he will explain. No doubt we will hear his normal sorts of reasons. Let us look behind what has happened. One of the things Mr Berry has to explain is his embarrassment. So far 24 pieces of legislation have been tabled in this Assembly. Sixteen of those are from Government members. I am seeking to table another one. Eight of them have been from non-Government members. Seven of those eight are from the crossbenchers. Here we are again with Labor embarrassed. Mr Corbell is not embarrassed. He has introduced a piece of legislation and has obviously worked hard; but other members of the Labor Party, particularly Mr Berry, who has had plenty of experience in this place, have produced nothing. All Mr Berry can do is sit there and carp and try to prevent other people from doing the work of the Assembly.

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