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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2861 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

We have to consider the possibility, as we have to do with every piece of legislation, that this legislation just might pass in principle. If it passed in principle and there were no amendments, what then? We would then have the piece of legislation that I have just described. So I take that responsibility very seriously, Mr Speaker, and I ask myself: Is this legislation likely to pass? And the answer I give myself is: Yes, it is likely to pass. In that case, we have to be ready to provide the least worst solution.

The amendments that I have circulated, Mr Speaker, are about the least worst solution. They are about putting a set of objects in the Act to make sure that people understand what the legislation is about. The least worst solution, as I see it, is a 72-hour cooling-off period, which Mr Humphries and Mr Osborne say their legislation is about. The least worst solution also includes providing information for women, which is what they say their legislation is about. The least worst solution is making sure that that information does not carry with it the sort of bias that I spoke about before. It is genuinely about information.

Mr Speaker, I would love this Bill to disappear. I would love the situation to have never come into this house in the first place, because I do not think we needed to do anything about it. But I am not going to take the sort of approach that I accused Mr Berry of taking the other day when I called him a struthioid. I am not going to take the sort of approach of an ostrich that buries its head in the sand. I am going to make sure that if this legislation does pass in principle then we are in a position to ensure that we get a reasonable outcome so that women are not put in the sort of position they will be put in if this legislation passes in its current form.

Mr Speaker, I do not want to move the amendments, and I urge members not to get to that stage. What we should do is reject this legislation out of hand and not have to deal with this issue, accept that the system that currently operates is operating particularly well. We do not need this legislation and we ought not to support it. Very simply, at the in-principle stage of this legislation, the best thing for members to do is to reject the legislation, because it is just not good enough.

Sitting suspended from 12.33 to 2.30 pm


Rural Residential Development

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Given the Chief Minister's assertion that she did not see the report of the Estimates Committee until it was tabled yesterday, can she say if she has now had the opportunity to peruse it? In particular I ask whether she is aware of the following comment at paragraph 3.37:

The committee heard evidence from the Executive Director of the Office of Financial Management which was in stark contrast to the emphatic evidence given to the committee in earlier evidence taken in respect of leases relating to the failed Hall/Kinlyside development.

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