Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1339 ..
Mr Moore: And it is just a start. It is just a start of that sign of attack because he is attacking every woman in the ACT.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, the Minister talks about fanatics! That is where the fanaticism is going to come from. Mr Osborne needs to be warned - if he has not picked it up already - that he is going to be subjected to a vicious and malicious personal attack because he has a particular view on this subject and he has gone to the trouble of tabling a Bill to be discussed in this place. And the attack, of course, is anticipating the debate that will at some future time take place on his Bill. If Mr Moore and Mr Berry do not like the content of the Bill - they will have an opportunity to debate it when it is brought forward on the notice paper of this place - they can express their view. I hope they express it in a civilised fashion and do not resort to personal vilification because both members have already clearly signalled, Mr Speaker, that their basis of attack is going to be a personal attack on the member who placed this Bill on the table. We have heard enough of that. I think that the debate ought to take place in due course when members have had a chance to look at the Bill. We should not try to debate it now, which is what the Minister is purporting to do by moving for the suspension of standing orders. He wants to debate and attack the member. We have seen it already. I suggest that the motion be put and that this place reject it. Then we can get on with the other business that is on the notice paper today.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.47): Mr Speaker, I support the motion for the suspension of standing orders. I am also interested to hear what Mr Moore has to say. He should be given an opportunity to say what it is that he wants to say about the issue. I make the point that I do not want the issue debated today. I regret that notice was not given that this Bill would be introduced. I regret that I did not know about it and I regret that Mr Osborne chose not to speak to me about his intentions.
Having said that, I support the comments made by Mr Kaine. I have no difficulty respecting the fact that these are heartfelt views of Mr Osborne's. We each have different views on this issue. It is appropriate, now that Mr Osborne has chosen to raise the issue, for it to be debated properly and fully, and appropriately. I do not think it is a debate we can run away from. If I have a concern at the moment it is that I do not know what is going on, or what the intentions of Mr Osborne and those in the place that are likely to support this Bill are. I am concerned that there will not be a full and open debate within the community before this place comes to debate the substance of Mr Osborne's Bill. I am interested to hear what Mr Moore has to say at this stage. However, I do not want the matter debated today, tomorrow or next week. I want to debate it after the community has had a full and proper opportunity to consider all the implications of this Bill. As Mr Berry said, that is a process that will take some time.
I do not want a slanging match on this issue. I do not think that would be appropriate. I think it necessary that we be respectful to each other's views, but we must have a proper, full and open debate not only in this place but also within the community. This is a vital issue to half the population at least and an issue of some other consequence to the other half. I am very mindful, of course - and we will get to this end in the debate -