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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2949 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

For Mr Humphries to suggest that Ms Tucker and Mr Corbell are guilty of hypocrisy, as he did in his speech a moment ago, was a bit rich. If there is an exercise in hypocrisy at the moment, Mr Moore is the flag bearer. He stands there and he says, "I am not going to vote for Mr Osborne's Bill but I have a set of amendments myself", and that set of amendments turned the whole thing on its head. He has not got the courage to say, "I am not going to vote for Mr Osborne's Bill, but I am going to put my own Bill up", because this is what this looks like. He has not got the courage to do that, but he has the courage to give it to us at 8.30 in the morning, thank you very much, and expect us to digest it and vote on it before the witching hour, I would hope.

Mr Humphries: You have had 14 hours to look at it. That is lots of time.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you. I am not the first person tonight in this place to get timing wrong.

Also, he does not give anybody else the opportunity to do that. I think it might have been Mr Kaine who accused us, and probably quite rightly, for not coming up with amendments of our own. To that accusation I respond that some of us have not had the time to digest it enough to be able to compile amendments. (Extension of time granted) This is my first extension, Mr Speaker, and I dare say it is my last. Mr Kaine asks why we do not put forward amendments. I hope I do not take a liberty from Mr Rugendyke but I hope and pray that he is in the same boat I am. We need more time to be able to look at these things and to develop them. We need to be able to develop an amendment. Unlike Mr Moore, we would like to take them around to people involved in the next issue, as significant and as important as this one, and speak to the stakeholders. The stakeholders are those people who were concerned enough to write to us or to speak to us on the telephone. We have not given them that opportunity. So it is a double problem for us.

I would ask those people who have the balance of power to consider this motion for a select committee very seriously. Denial of it is a denial of the democratic processes that we have been put in here to uphold, to administer and to apply. This is an opportunity for those of us who do not have a good enough command of the Bill to hear from the experts and to measure them one by one on the blackboard, side by side. We will never get that opportunity if we do not do this. Mr Speaker, I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (9.55): Mr Speaker, had this been the first Bill in relation to the abortion issue introduced into this Assembly last week and we were debating it for the first time this week with this lot of amendments, there may be some justification for what members opposite are saying. I have been in this place for all but a couple of years. I have seen a number of occasions when Bills were introduced by members of the Labor Party, be it in government or in opposition, and if they had the numbers they were passed the next week. In the case of Ms Tucker, I would remind her of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill late last year which was introduced on 3 December and passed on 10 December. In fairness to Ms Tucker, there - - -

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