Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3018 ..
MR BERRY: I know what it is. I just think the whole section is a joke.
Mr Osborne: We think you are a joke, but we put up with you, Wayne. It is late. Come on; sit down.
MR BERRY: Ossie, the fact of the matter is that this continues the pretence that appropriate advice is not provided at this point, and it sets out to establish an unbalanced board - I can see what my colleague is up to in relation to the matter - to try to make that pretence into truth. The fact of the matter is that the counselling standards and the counselling information that is given at the existing facility are quite adequate. This is just a farcical development, which is designed to create the impression that something is wrong, when there is not anything wrong. There has not been any evidence presented to this place that there is. There have been some pamphlets and pieces of paper waved around about the place, but no reference to what actually goes on in the place. You do not know what you are talking about when you say that it is not done correctly. This is just part of a large grab of emotional clap-trap, which is not relevant to the real situation. What you are doing is creating work for people who do not even need to be involved in the process, and most of them will not even want to be.
MR OSBORNE (2.21 am): Mr Speaker, I will try not to be repetitive, but I will remind Mr Berry that this Bill does conform with what the High Court has said in relation to information - - -
Mr Berry: The High Court never said that you had to have a panel.
MR OSBORNE: What the High Court did say, Mr Speaker, was that information is paramount. We have set up a process so that women can be supplied with adequate information, in line with Rogers v. Whitaker from 1992. If Mr Berry would like me to go over that case again, I am more than happy to; Mr Speaker, I mentioned Rogers v. Whitaker a number of times when I tabled this original Bill. So, if Mr Berry could get his hands on a copy of Hansard, that would probably be the quickest way to deal with it. We all want to go home, Mr Speaker.
MS TUCKER (2.22 am): Mr Speaker, I just want to have on the record my comments regarding the composition of this panel. I do not think it is a balanced panel. I could be corrected, but I think in our community about 30 per cent of people are religious, and a smaller percentage of them who Catholic. Catholics do have a very particular view on this issue, obviously, but I wonder why we have three out of seven people representing a Catholic institution. In our society, I think that actually shows that this is a contrivance by the members who have put this legislation up. They have purposely done that.
I have looked at the mission and values of Calvary Hospital. Calvary Hospital has every right to talk about the doctors and staff dedicating themselves to "continuing the healing ministry of Jesus". They have every right to "initiate a process whereby we critically analyse, appraise and develop an action plan for the ongoing integration of the mission and values of the Little Company of Mary into our everyday life and work". Incidentally, this mission and values program was launched in March 1998. All areas of the hospital were encouraged to participate in discussing the mission and values of the Little Company of Mary.