Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1742 ..
Mr Berry: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Hird is talking about a hypothetical case. There is no move to stop Mr Osborne from bringing this Bill on.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I insist that he is dealing with a hypothetical question. It is not a matter that is before the chamber.
Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: Mr Berry's motion calls for the Bill to be taken off the notice paper. That is what his motion calls for.
Mr Berry: No, I am sorry. Mr Humphries is incorrect. It requests.
Mr Humphries: Requests or calls for, what is the difference, Mr Speaker?
MR SPEAKER: The nomenclature used in this place amazes me at times. There is no point of order.
MR HIRD: It is our obligation as legislators, as people who have been elected to this chamber, to bring on or deal with legislation or motions that we wish to deal with without pressure from other members. Mr Berry, of all people, should know that. Considering Mr Berry's background - he fought for the rights of workers - I find this interesting to say the least. He puts himself forward as someone who is trying to push forward the rights of women, but he denies the right of Mr Osborne to bring in this legislation, to place this Bill on the table. I find that very interesting. I will be supporting, as I dare say my colleagues will, the right of Mr Osborne to bring forward this matter.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (11.17): Mr Speaker, I want to contribute briefly to the debate as well. Mr Stefaniak raised the lack of any precedent for this, and I think that is true. I do recall that in 1994, when Mr Berry introduced legislation which was at the other end of the spectrum, legislation which effectively decriminalised any abortion, even up to nine months - - -
Mr Berry: Damn fine legislation, too.
MR HUMPHRIES: Well, it certainly was, in Mr Berry's eyes at least. When he introduced that legislation there was a move afoot in the Assembly to call - - -
Mr Berry: By you and Kate Carnell.
MR HUMPHRIES: No. This was an issue being discussed by others. There was a move afoot to bring the legislation forward for early debate, or at least to bring it on for debate when it was clear that Mr Berry did not want to bring it on for debate. I am pleased to say that I and, as far as I am aware, all the other people in the Assembly who opposed that Bill believed that bringing Mr Berry's Bill forward against his will was not consistent with democratic justice. My party, I admit, considered the idea, but decided it would not support such a move.