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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 114 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

understanding, as the Minister is wont to create. Indeed, Mr Speaker, I think the Minister is a perfect champion at creating a lack of understanding. He is probably the best at it in this chamber.

I implore this Assembly to remember that, whatever the result of this Bill, there will not be any more certainty in the industry tomorrow than exists today. We need to make sure that the changes that are being put forward are conveyed to the people in the industry in such a way that they understand them and that, if there is not any room in the industry for them, they have a chance to remove themselves and to restructure the industry at no detriment. My proposition gives another six months' protection for those people in enabling them to get out later. Mr Speaker, I am not suggesting that there will be some people who will sit there and wait till the last minute to do it, but having this extra six months of security for these people will enable their families to feel a little bit better about the whole process. It will enable a certainty in the industry such that, when the ACT is portrayed in New South Wales, we will be acting responsibly for the people in the market, particularly the home vending market. This is merely extending what the Government has already said. I am absolutely floored by the Minister saying that these things are not necessary. I am floored by the Minister saying that we do not have an understanding of the situation. Indeed, Mr Speaker, what I do understand about it is the pain on the faces of those people out there at the very demonstrations the Minister accused me of organising. I did no such thing. I did not organise any of those things. I merely went out there and spoke to the people there.

Mr Berry: Why not?

MR HARGREAVES: Indeed, I should have but did not. I went out there and looked into the faces of the women whose livelihoods depended on it. I looked into the faces of men who said, "My business is going down the gurgler. What are you going to do about it?". Mr Speaker, I was moved by that and I would like to see this Government moved just a little bit to extend protection to the year 2000. I pose this question to the Government: What have you got to lose? You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain from doing so. What you are handing out to these people is an insurance policy. They may or may not need it. Failure to pass my amendment will just prove to me that the crowd opposite has the callous nature that I have been hearing, and I sincerely hope it has not.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.45): Mr Speaker, the Government will oppose this amendment, for the reasons put before. Again, Mr Hargreaves does not understand that the factors that we need to address now are outside the control of the ACT. We need to see what happens in New South Wales and Victoria. Mr Hargreaves says, "Thank you for the history lesson". The reason I can give the history lesson is that I can read. I was not in school in 1989, although the thought is kind of nice. That would have meant that I was married in about sixth grade and had my daughters in about Year 8. Mr Speaker, the history is on the record. Labor knew; Labor did nothing about it. We are progressing through a way forward for the milk industry. In Mr Rugendyke's words, the vendors are happy with this proposal and they want to see this Bill passed today. We should pass it as it is.

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