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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 3492 ..

MR BERRY (4.15): I do not know what the paranoia about this motion is. Just sit down and read the motion. All it does, for heaven's sake, is call for the transfer of documents to the Health Committee so that that committee can make a decision about whether they are released in accordance with standing orders. It is a straightforward motion. It is not a matter of immediately agreeing to publish the documents. If Mr Osborne or anybody else in this place who has a relationship with the former Standing Committee on Legal Affairs wants to put a submission to the Health Committee that these documents should not be released, they are perfectly entitled to do so.

Even if the Health Committee decides to release material containing arguments against immunisation, most of us have heard those arguments before anyway and have dismissed them. We know that there are always risks with immunisation. We weigh them up in our minds and say, "That is a risk we are taking". Why not just support the motion? It is quite straightforward. There is no need to be paranoid about it. The documents are not going to be released to the public as a result of this motion. Another decision would have to be made by the committee before that could happen.

Mr Moore: The chair says he has a different view. I just want to hear his view. We have not had a chance to hear his view. That is why we want to adjourn the debate.

MR BERRY: And the chair of the committee to which they would be referred - - -

Mr Moore: No, the chair who knows about it.

MR BERRY: Mr Wood would be the chair of the committee to which they would be referred, and he was on the committee whence they came. I just think this is silly paranoia.

MR OSBORNE: I seek leave to speak again, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker - - -

Mr Kaine: It had better be good, Paul.

MR OSBORNE: It will be good. Typical of the Greens, they want to put out the smallest amount of information that has no balance. My concern, Mr Speaker, is that when most issues come up the first people you hear from are those who have a problem. Certainly, submissions like that came in to the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs. We need to put these submissions in context with the overwhelming evidence against what they were saying before we put them in the marketplace. I have no problem with the information getting out at some stage down the track. We have a very low immunisation rate in the country. We have a low rate here in the ACT. All I am saying is that if the Assembly releases some sort of information there needs to be some information on the other side to balance it.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries) adjourned.

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