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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2837 ..

MR BERRY: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am sure that you will accept that, if one is trying to defer debate on a particular piece of legislation, one needs to know what one is deferring and why. I would ask for your indulgence to ensure that that information comes through loud and clear - not only to the people in this place, who have probably heard the debate over and over again, but for others in this community who have not heard the debate and who are here today and who may in future read the record of it.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, if there are issues within the matter that is perhaps going to be debated later that justify your case for deferral, by all means you may canvass those; but please do not debate the pros and cons of the issues in the piece of legislation. I am sure that you are capable of doing that.

MR BERRY: It needs to be said, Mr Speaker, and it needs to go to the detail of the issues to explain the gravity of the law which we are considering and why it ought to be delayed for important examination.

MR SPEAKER: I am not unhappy with that approach.

MR BERRY: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: But it is when you start debating the pros and cons - - -

MR BERRY: It is always in my heart that I keep you happy, Mr Speaker. It is important to have a happy Speaker, I have to say - especially for somebody who is pressing the envelope a little. Mr Speaker, it is important that we have time to look at all of those issues which were contained within that appalling legislation which Mr Osborne so stealthily brought to this Assembly.

I was talking about 18 November and how it became clear that Mr Osborne did not have the numbers at that point to have his Bill passed through this Assembly. Instead of ensuring that the community was aware of what was in the back of his mind and in the minds of others in this Assembly, Mr Osborne kept very quiet, until the next day, about what was going to happen. When we came into this chamber we learnt that the plan was to withdraw his original Bill, because it was clear that he did not have the numbers, and to introduce a new and different Bill, which was to be debated this week, one week later.

Mr Speaker, we still do not fully understand. We did not fully understand the implications of his first Bill by the time we got to 18 November. We certainly cannot have had the time to this point to understand the implications of his second Bill. Because it is quite clear from the debate out there in the community that there are additional implications, we need this extra time desperately. We cannot, in good conscience, pass legislation through this place, particularly legislation of this magnitude, without properly considering all of the detail.

The legal magnitude of this legislation, I think, is understood by most. The implications for women in the ACT are not clearly understood, in my view, and neither are the impacts on other pieces of legislation. I cite, for example, the Crimes Act. All of these issues need to be better understood by members of this Assembly before they make decisions on this legislation, before they even enter the debate. It would be improper, and we would

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