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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1727 ..

Part 9 - Department of Urban Services

Proposed expenditure - Urban Services, $268,826,000 (comprising net cost of outputs, $218,808,000; capital injection, $49,228,000; and payments on behalf of Territory, $790,000)

Debate (on motion by Mr Hargreaves) adjourned.


Motion (by Mr Humphries) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Mr Geoff Harris : Mr Tom Duncan

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.07): I will speak for 30 seconds, Mr Deputy Speaker. To Geoff Harris, who is standing around there all on his own as the public guardian, I say: Thank you for your endeavours. You can now go home. For the information of members who may not have known it, today, being the first day of spring - 1 September - is Tom Duncan's birthday. Happy birthday, Thomas.

Abortion Legislation - Rally

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (11.08): Mr Deputy Speaker, at lunchtime today approximately 2,000 people gathered outside the Assembly, and I think it is worth our recognising that assembly. They gathered there to protest at the Bill that is before the Assembly - the Health Regulation (Abortions) Bill that Mr Osborne has put up. Those who spoke at that rally identified very clearly that they were not impressed by the Bill, that they saw it as an infringement of the rights of women. For me, the most important things were the wide range of ages of people at that rally and also the number of men who were there - I know many members from here were at the rally - to support women and to recognise the attack on women's rights.

I do not want to get into the issues of the actual Bill which we will debate in this Assembly when it is brought on in due time, Mr Deputy Speaker. But there was another factor which I thought was significant; that is, a small number of people - probably 40 or 50 - from the Right to Life movement were expressing their view close to the doors of the Assembly. There were some 2,000 people with the opposite view and I thought it was to the great credit of the people involved that neither group interfered with the other. I believe their views were expressed. They used their democratic right and democratic option to express their opinion, and I think that was to the great credit of all the people involved.

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