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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2925 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

As I said at the beginning, Mr Speaker, I am rather surprised at the tenuous nature of some of the debate and what some people say and do. When this debate is over today - and I do not know yet whether the Bill is going to pass in principle and I do not know what the end product is going to look like, because we have a lot of amendments to consider - I can guarantee one thing. Whatever the outcome, the mover, Mr Osborne, is going to be terribly disappointed because what comes out of this process will be nothing like what he came into the debate with two months ago, so somebody has had a win. The community is going to decide who that was. The legislation is going to be nothing like what Mr Osborne set out to achieve. It will be considerably watered down and considerably changed. That is the democratic process, Mr Speaker.

MR RUGENDYKE (8.10): Mr Speaker, I rise to support this Bill in principle. I do have difficulty with some of the proposed amendments. We can debate those amendments once the Bill has been agreed to in principle. I believe, for example, that the provisions of appropriate information and a cooling-off period are important aspects of this Bill. However, I do have concerns about some amendments, the consent provision being one of them. I therefore support the Bill in principle.

MR BERRY (8.11): First of all, I would like to deal with Mr Kaine's comments. The silver fox has lost none of his debating skills. He presented a great case for his particular point of view, but he really covered up the way we operate here. Mr Kaine suggested that nobody should ever vote against anything completely; that they should always look at the ambit claim and amend it. It was only the sensible people who amended things; it was not the sensible people who opposed them outright. Some of us have very clear and opposing views in principle on issues and we cannot compromise ourselves by looking at the ambit claim and amending it, thereby undermining the base of our in-principle position. I think Mr Kaine's assessment of those who oppose the issues of principle here was a little unfair but undoubtedly skilfully put. Mr Kaine and I are on the opposite side of the fence in relation to this.

I have always called myself pro-choice, but after Mrs Carnell's description of pro-choice I wonder about myself. I think the pro-choice movement that Mrs Carnell belongs to is different from the one I belong to. Mrs Carnell's version of pro-choice seems to be the sort of pro-choice which is "mine". She wants to make the choice for women. For instance, she wants to make the choice about what information women will be forced to receive. That is not pro-choice. Pro-choice is about the right of a woman to choose, not the right of legislators to choose the direction that women will take if they decide on a particular course. Mrs Carnell drew a curious analogy with the supply of drugs, but she made no effort to look at other invasive medical procedures and why it is we are treating this one differently in the law. I have to say that Mrs Carnell's version of pro-choice is quite different. No matter how many times the Chief Minister says she is pro-choice, it will not change her track record. She cannot say "pro-choice" enough to change her track record.

Mrs Carnell said, "I would have preferred no Bill". She had the chance and she refused to take that position. She refused, for example, when I moved a motion looking for her support and the support of others in calling on Mr Osborne to withdraw his Bill in response to a call from a massive rally outside this building. It was no more than a call, but it would have put significant pressure on Mr Osborne. Mrs Carnell refused the call.

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