Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1338 ..
Mr Osborne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I was not laughing at what Mr Berry said. I was laughing at something Mr Moore said to me.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, to me it looked as though he thought it was a big joke. It is a serious matter when something which impacts on the majority of the community is wheeled into this place without due notice. Members of the community will be most concerned about this. This has never happened in this Assembly in its life.
Mr Humphries: Well, we have Bills when leave is given. I do not think that is true.
MR BERRY: Hang on a minute. Bills of this magnitude have not been snuck into this place. These are issues which will impact on the overwhelming majority of the community for various reasons and they deserve a public airing. But the Bill has been deliberately wheeled into this place to ensure that there is not an adequate public airing. My office was called by a member of the media today to let me know that this was going to happen. They told me that the reason it was allowed to happen in this place today was that Paul Osborne supported the Government in the censure motion yesterday and the deal that was struck was that he would be given leave to introduce this legislation today.
I do not know whether that is true or not. That was the advice that I had. The Government may wish to rise and say that it has not been a part of this. I hope it will do so. In any event, it falls on the member, when introducing legislation of this magnitude, to bring it to the attention of the community in an appropriate way. This legislation should be the subject of long public debate for at least six months, because it is quite detailed legislation which will involve quite a lot of research and work by those who want to make a contribution to it. To wheel it into this place in such a sneaky and spineless way is something that we have not seen in the past and I hope that we never see it again. I am not going to let this slip by because of the method which has been used to bring it into this place. I thought Mr Osborne had more guts than this, but apparently not. He wants to avoid the public debate that goes with these sorts of moves. This is an underhand move which will surely be seen as the work of a fanatic. Fanatics work this way, because they do not want the public debate.
Mr Humphries: It takes one to know one, Wayne.
MR BERRY: Mr Humphries interjects. Mr Humphries, when was the last time I ever ran away from a public debate? Mr Osborne is running away from a public debate. The Minister deserves to make a comment on this matter.
MR KAINE (11.45): Mr Speaker, I do not support the suspension motion. I think that the two speeches that have been made give substance to my view that the suspension ought not be granted. What has happened is that the member has placed a Bill on the table, which he is perfectly entitled to do. He did it with the leave of this place. What do we see? We see an attack of vilification on the member that tabled it.