Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2998 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
I want a definition from Mr Osborne, if this is his Bill. What is the definition of "carefully considered"? What is the definition of "properly, appropriately and adequately provide the woman with advice about"?
Ms Carnell: It is not question time. Question time was earlier.
MS TUCKER: Mrs Carnell says this is not question time. I am glad she has a sense of humour, that is really nice, but this is a very serious issue because the intention of this Bill is so unclear. It is absolutely a scandal, how unclear it is. It is interesting if you look at the issue of counselling. There is not such an obligation for counselling. You offer the woman the opportunity of referral to appropriate and adequate counselling. Well, if there is no force in this Bill, why does it not say here under the information bit, "You offer the woman the opportunity of seeing the following information."? But no, it says, "You must provide this information", and it must be, as I said, "properly, appropriately and adequately provided". There are a lot of value judgments in interpreting that and I would like Mr Osborne and all the other supporters of this Bill to explain what they think it means.
MR OSBORNE (1.04 am): I understand the fear of people who are opposed to this Bill. I understand the fear of having pictures in the information, Mr Speaker, because, as I said, this is a fundamental part of what we are trying to achieve today. I am convinced that the photos will save some lives.
When life begins is no longer a matter of taste. With the advent of newer and newer technology we are able to see the growth and development of the baby. We can see, within hours of conception, life beginning, Mr Speaker. I am appalled at the attitude of those opposed to this Bill. They fear having photos, Mr Speaker. They fear the truth, Mr Speaker. That is what this is all about, and it is appalling.
I will be opposing Mr Stanhope's amendment. Anyone who wishes to support this Bill needs to understand very clearly that this process is fundamental to the Bill's success and to the main thrust of what we are trying to achieve, Mr Speaker. So I reject what Mr Stanhope and others have said and once again reiterate to those who want to support the Bill that this is very important.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition): I seek leave to speak again.
MR STANHOPE: I support the very perceptive concerns that Ms Tucker put about exactly what clause 7 means. I go back to that much discussed DPP, Mr Refshauge, and his second advising today. I think it is very relevant in the context of the discussion that we are currently having. Mr Refshauge, in his second advising, said this:
If I am wrong and it is intended (and a court agrees) that the new subclause 6(a) refers to subclause 7(1)(a) and (b) as well, then I still have serious concerns.