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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 272 ..

MR SPEAKER: Mr Kaine, be guided.

MR KAINE: On that point of order, Mr Speaker - - -

MR SPEAKER: There is not any point of order.

MR KAINE: I made no such allegation and I make no such assertion, but I do know the sequence of events that occurred in the committee. I do know that in the initial stages of the debate Mr Hird was in complete accord with the rest of the committee and that towards the very end he changed his mind and came in with a dissenting report. I do not believe for a minute that he did that without some discussion in the party room or somewhere else on the broad subject. I am not asserting that the Minister saw the report. I am not asserting that anybody saw the report. But I am suggesting that Mr Hird changed his view suddenly. I think I am pretty right in saying that his dissenting report, when he tabled it, reflected the Government's view. Therefore, we are in a position to know what the Government's view is. I suggest that whether we adjourn the debate now or whether we continue the debate now the Government's view will be very much in accord with Mr Hird's dissenting report. That is the only point that I make.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again on this matter.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I make it very clear to the Assembly that in the time since this report was handed down I have been trying to find a compromise which will allow a Bill of this sort to be passed by the Assembly. I have no desire to reject this legislation, because I can understand what Mr Osborne is trying to do. He is trying to produce a way of focusing a greater effort in the Magistrates Court on children's matters. Mr Kaine is wrong to suggest that the Government's position is going to end up the same as Mr Hird's dissenting report. In fact, I can almost guarantee that the Government's response will not be the same as that.

Mr Kaine: I bet it will not be now.

MR HUMPHRIES: You might laugh about that, Mr Kaine. It is a fairly serious allegation to make. I make it very clear that the Government has been trying very hard to work through the agencies and stakeholders who have raised problems with this proposal to find a way of getting an acceptable compromise on this matter. That is the case. If you doubt me, go and talk to people like the Chief Magistrate and others who have been involved in discussions about that matter.

Mr Kaine: We have.

Mr Rugendyke: We had him before the committee.

Mr Kaine: The committee consulted with the Chief Magistrate.

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