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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 331 ..

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Earlier you called for silence. Mr Stanhope, I have suggested standing order 202(e) already, and I will suggest it again.

MR SPEAKER: Continue, Mr Humphries. This is a serious matter and it deserves serious consideration.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, we have a perfectly good question asked across the chamber. Why did the Attorney-General not raise this question yesterday? If Mr Stanhope had been attentive, he would have heard the answer to that question yesterday. I said yesterday that my department had not prepared a response to the Justice Committee's report and a consideration of the Bill, because it was not due until March. That is why. As I indicated clearly to the Assembly, we received notice of the bringing on of this legislation late on Tuesday. I see that Mr Stanhope runs away after asking this question.

After having notice on Tuesday that this Bill would be coming up for debate, having it put forward on Wednesday, not having had time to consider it and having asked the Assembly for more time, we now see that the problem has arisen that the Bill has - accidentally, I trust - abolished the jurisdiction of the Children's Court. Mr Speaker, this is a matter of considerable concern. I acknowledge that Mr Osborne has been forthright about the need - - -

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Osborne has asked the question. I think he deserves the answer but he should also listen to it, might I suggest.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, there is a serious question here. I have advised the Chief Minister not to sign that Bill into law, as is her power. We have a period of one month before it must be signed into law, as I understand it. In that time, of course, the Assembly will sit again. I have discussed with Mr Osborne a process whereby it will be possible for the Assembly to bring the legislation which was passed back on for reconsideration, in effect, as I understand the process, to rescind the passage of the legislation and have it amended before it becomes a law. That is not an amendment to the Bill. The Bill, in a sense, has already passed the stage of being a Bill. It is now on its way to being an Act. It would be a reconsideration of the legislation to allow it to be considered again as a Bill subject to amendment by the Assembly.

Ms Tucker: And at the same time you can fix up the Bill that you stuffed up too. That would be good. We are still waiting for you to fix up the Building (Amendment) Bill that you repealed a whole section of. We could do them both together. That would be good.

MR HUMPHRIES: The important point here, for Ms Tucker's benefit, is making sure we have time to do these things properly. Ms Tucker has been the scion of process in this place - - -

Mr Hargreaves: Just get on with it.

MR HUMPHRIES: That was the problem with yesterday. "Just do it" Hargreaves strikes again. Just do it. With beads of sweat on his brow, he says, "Just do it, please. Get rid of this problem".

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