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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 273 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: No, I am not talking about that, Mr Kaine. Listen to what I am saying. I am saying to you that if you talk to people involved in those agencies you will see that since the report came down we have been talking to the agencies about some way of getting a compromise which acknowledges the concerns that have been raised by the committee. That is what I am talking about. If that is the case, further time might have to be allowed for that to be worked out. As it is, I have no choice but to come to this place and say that we are obviously not going to carry the day in opposing the legislation, but I think it is unfortunate that we have not had the time to be able to work in the usual way through the compromises which might have been possible and to bring forward amendments to deal with them. That is most unfortunate. Members in this place will shriek loudly if the Government attempts to truncate or in some way compromise the usual committee deliberation process. When the reverse happens and the Government's response is being affected by the time being cut short, members do not appear to care quite so much about it.

MR RUGENDYKE (6.07): Mr Speaker, for some time, certainly since I have been in this Assembly, I have had an interest in children's services generally. In line with that interest I have always supported a children's magistrate specifically to deal with children's matters. I support the Bill and I support Mr Osborne's amendments to include a deputy children's magistrate and a time period.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (6.08): Previously I stood to adjourn the debate. I had hoped that I would be able to do that, but that not being the case I think it appropriate that I put some effort into speaking at the in-principle stage, and I will be some time in doing that. There is a great disappointment on my part that Ms Tucker, for example, is not here, because on many occasions she and other members of the crossbenches have asked this Government whether they have could more time on something and whether the Government would pull back and not proceed with something because they needed a bit more time to consider it. I think that the Government should be very reluctant to consider such a request again, because these sorts of things are a two-way street. The Government, with good reason, has said, "We would like a bit more time to consider this". Mr Humphries stood up and explained exactly why. While he was explaining it, hardly anybody was listening. The explanation was particularly good. The Government has gone through a long process to try to work out a compromise so that we can meet the needs of everybody, including the Magistrates Court, which has expressed some concern about this idea, and at the same time meet what has been raised by Mr Osborne and by others.

I know that the committee, in looking at this, did talk to groups, including the Chief Magistrate, the Community Advocate, the Law Society and the Children's Services Council so that they could get a proper understanding of what this would entail. But, if there are some particular difficulties associated with this as far as the court is concerned, it is appropriate for the Government to ask whether there is another way of delivering exactly the same sort of service. That is the normal way in which we respond to ideas put to the Government by the Assembly through its committee process. The responses that we have put to almost all our committees have been very positive. Even when there has been a dissenting report by a government member, the Government has still tried to

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