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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 2595 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

He is a member who goes on and on in this place about the excesses of executive power over a parliament, and he is exercising just the sorts of abuses of process that he criticises executives for doing in other places. He is abusing the process of this place.

Yes, technically, what he is doing under the standing orders can occur, but parliaments work with practice and procedure. Parliaments work so that all members, and, indeed, the people they represent, have an opportunity to know what is going to occur, have an opportunity to consider the information that is presented, and have an opportunity to consult with their colleagues and others who would be interested; but that has not occurred on this occasion. We have not seen that process happen. We have not seen Mr Osborne act in good faith in this place, and it is not as though it is for the first time, Mr Speaker. This is the second time it has occurred.

If Mr Osborne wants to introduce this Bill he should do what every other member in this place does - present it to the business meeting that occurs every Tuesday, put it on the notice paper, and introduce it. It is not a hard process, Mr Speaker. It is not a complex process. It is not a difficult thing to understand. It is a straightforward process that allows all members in this place to know what is going to occur in the way of business on any particular day.

Mr Speaker, what we have seen today is what we saw a couple of months ago - an attempt to push through a piece of legislation which Mr Osborne knows is unpopular, is not supported by a majority of members, and is not supported by a majority in the community.

Mr Osborne: Are we going to vote on it today? You idiot.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, Mr Osborne can be abusive. Mr Osborne can lash across the chamber if he wishes. He can do that, but he should understand more than most members in this place what the processes are. He should understand that in this place there is a process that stops the place descending into a pit of infighting and complete confusion.

Mr Speaker, parliaments are hard enough bodies to manage as it is, but when members deliberately ignore the processes that are put in place to allow some sense of order and cohesion to come out of the busyness of this place, then not only does he bring himself into disrepute, he also brings this Assembly into disrepute. For that reason we should not allow this suspension today.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (11.16): Mr Speaker, quite simply, what we are debating is whether Mr Osborne tables this Bill today or tomorrow. Mr Moore said he had no problems with it happening tomorrow. Those opposite have said they have no problems with it being tomorrow. I have not seen this Bill, Mr Speaker. My position on abortion is very clear. From my perspective though, Mr Speaker, every day that I, and the community, can have to see Mr Osborne's new Bill is in the best interests of community consultation.

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