Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 3406 ..
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (5.46): Mr Speaker, just for the record, this Bill came to the party room for the first time this morning, as members would be aware, to be looked at by members of the Government. This morning was the first time we had a chance to come up with a position.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (5.47), in reply: Mr Speaker, as the Government has said, we support the Bill in principle. We think it needs some finetuning. Mr Humphries' department and mine have been working with Mr Rugendyke to finetune it. We have come up with some amendments. Mr Hargreaves has some amendments. I only heard this week about how this problem is being dealt with in some other jurisdictions. I think there is merit in looking for answers. As others have said in this place, often legislation cannot stop something, but let us look at ways, in the totality, that offer solutions as well as enforcement. It is reasonable to send it to the committee.
That the motion (Mr Smyth's) be agreed to.
The Assembly voted -
AYES, 9 NOES, 3 Mr Berry Mr Kaine Ms Carnell Mr Osborne Mr Cornwell Mr Rugendyke Mr Hargreaves Mr Humphries Mr Moore Mr Quinlan Mr Smyth Ms TuckerQuestion so resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed from 20 May 1998, on motion by Mr Osborne:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (5.51): Mr Speaker, parliamentary privilege is a term that describes the power, the privileges and the immunities of a parliament. These privileges ensure the proper operation of the parliament and in this sense parliamentary privilege places the parliament above the general law. However, we should not forget that the reason for this is public interest. Freedom of speech in a parliament is guaranteed because it is in the public interest that the debate should be free from outside interference or obstruction.