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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2947 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I will conclude my remarks there, Mr Speaker, but I would like to say that, in terms of an issue of this significance and magnitude and the depth of feeling that this issue generates within the community, I think it is an indictment of the Assembly for it not to agree to a public process in relation to an issue of this order. I think it is a genuine indictment of this place.

Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Under standing order 47, I seek to explain where a part of my speech has been misquoted. Mr Corbell referred to me in terms of the Western Australian legislation. I have not referred to the Western Australian legislation at all. I do not use the Western Australian legislation. I think that was inappropriate.

MR HARGREAVES (9.44): We have had a lot of people talking about sticking heads in the sand. Let me tell you, Mr Speaker, my head is not in the sand. In fact, it is so far up that there are bullets flying everywhere. I make no apology for my position on that. I reject any suggestion that anybody might level that my head might be in the sand on this thing.

My head, as a matter of fact, Mr Speaker, is in a perplexed and confused state because an enormous amount of conflicting information has been given to me. I have had an enormous number of amendments coming from Mr Moore and one from Mr Humphries. I have had a good look at them. I have had a good look at them tonight. In the case of Mr Moore's amendments, I had a good look at them during the day.

One of the things that struck me about Mr Humphries' little spiel just a moment ago is something which I have seen all too often in the Assembly. It was as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle. Giving me lessons in history is absolutely useless. I was not here at the time, Mr Humphries. When you start to give me lectures on things that occurred in this chamber in 1992, quite frankly I could not care less. I would urge you not to waste your time because it does not do anything except extend the number of words you get into Hansard. Mr Humphries was saying, "Why would we have one of these inquiries? After all, everybody has made up their mind. Their views are not going to change".

Mr Humphries: Except maybe yours.

MR HARGREAVES: Except maybe mine. I acknowledge the concession. Thank you very much. You would want to have this sort of opportunity not only to change your mind; it might possibly be that you might have some of your views confirmed. You might find, in fact, that there are elements of your own argument which are sustained to a greater degree. Some of us take decisions on a wing and a prayer. We trust our judgment. We trust our hearts. Some of us hope to God we are right, and every now and again, Mr Speaker, we get it wrong.

When you see the extent to which Mr Osborne's Bill is proposed to be amended by Mr Moore, you are talking chalk and cheese here. I do not profess to be anywhere near as clever as Mr Moore who sets himself up all too often, in my view, as the expert on various issues. He sets himself up as a champion of the people in human rights and drug reform, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam, and only he, it would appear, has the wit and the power to be able to draft things.

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