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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1735 ..

Mr Osborne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I can save some time if it is only a request. No. Let us move on.

MR BERRY: That is fine. We will have to go to a vote.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MR BERRY: I think Mr Osborne's treatment of the debate shows how much he holds this Assembly in contempt. Members in this Assembly, like him, are entitled to express a view, and that is why this motion was brought forward in accordance with the standing orders. Mr Osborne can play his part in the debate.

Ms Carnell: So what you are now saying is that if he does not pay any attention he is holding the Assembly in contempt.

MR BERRY: No, by leaping to his feet in the middle of the debate and saying, "You can go to hell". He can do what he likes.

Ms Carnell: So you say he can do anything he likes and now you are saying he is holding it in contempt.

Mr Corbell: Are you going to call them to order, Mr Speaker?

MR BERRY: No, he is not. I think there have been some decisions made about this. Mr Speaker, I merely want to re-emphasise that the laws that were concerning the people in the square yesterday were the paternalistic laws of centuries ago which treated women like chattels.

MR SPEAKER: Be careful, Mr Berry, that you do not start a debate on the issue.

MR BERRY: They were the laws that gave rise to the request that this Bill be withdrawn. They are the concerns that the community broadly hold. This Bill, according to the community, will not do anything about abortions; it will just force ACT women to go somewhere else. The community has formed - - -

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Berry! This is not the purpose of your motion.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, you are quite correct, but yesterday you could have gone amongst those 2,000 people who asked us to consider this request. You could have gone amongst that throng of people and said, "What do you think about this Bill?". They would have said it was cruel. That is why we want it withdrawn. We want Mr Osborne to stand by his election promise not to turn back the clock. We want Mr Osborne to demonstrate that he is not a cynical politician. He has been telling us he is not. Mr Speaker, the 2,000 concerned ACT residents yesterday were saying, "Please withdraw the Bill, Mr Osborne. Respect our views. Respect the promises that you made to us in the last election. Please show some respect for our right to choose".

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