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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2959 ..

Detail Stage

Clause 1

MR BERRY (10.32): Clause 1 is quite easily a quote. It reads:

The Legislative Assembly wishes to ensure that proper information is provided to a woman who is considering an abortion.

That implies that the information which is being supplied to a woman at this stage is not proper.

Ms Carnell: It is certainly not complete.

MR BERRY: Mrs Carnell, from her few scraps of paper, suggests that it is not complete. "Proper" and "complete" are two entirely different matters. This clause should be opposed because it imputes that somebody is doing something improper. I am surprised that that was not picked up in the amendments that were constructed by Mr Moore, because that is the first glaring example of where those sorts of imputations in the legislation are endorsed. No evidence has been presented to this Assembly that improper information is being provided to a woman. Evidence is being provided to this Assembly from scraps of paper - - -

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, I call you to order. Standing order 180 states that there is an order that should be observed in looking at this Bill. What you are debating at the moment is clause 1 of the preamble. In fact, the preamble comes in at paragraph (d) of standing order 180. What we are debating at the moment is Part 1 - Preliminary - Short title - namely: "This Act may be cited as the Health Regulation (Maternal Health Information) Act 1998".

MR BERRY: No, that is not what you said. You said clause 1, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, it is; but, if you look at standing order 180, you will see that the preamble comes later.


MR SPEAKER: It is a clumsy arrangement, but that is the way it is. So, the question is that clause 1 be agreed to.

MR BERRY: How does one get to debate it?

MR SPEAKER: There will be plenty of opportunity, I am sure, to debate. We have until 10.30 tomorrow morning.

MR BERRY: I apologise; I withdraw that. I should have started on the second page.

Mr Moore: We have much longer than that.

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