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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 542 ..



Children's Court magistrate is a particularly wise move. I really do hope that the Magistrates Court - the Chief Magistrate and the other magistrates - will grasp this opportunity to play that leading role we entrust to them.

I will comment just briefly, since the Attorney-General felt the need to bring it up, on the question of the way that this Bill was initially dealt with and the Government's response to those happenings. I would be inclined to be less restrained than Mr Osborne. I do believe that some of the utterances of both the Attorney-General and the Chief Minister in relation to the passage of this Bill when it came before the Assembly were really just quite outrageous. Some of the things that were said in this place, some of the things that were said and reported in the Canberra Times, and some of the things that were said on the ABC were palpably just wrong. Some of the spin that was put on the implications of the passage of that Bill by the Attorney-General and the Chief Minister was just outrageous. I will continue to believe that they reflect extremely poorly on the Attorney as the Attorney. I would like to say more about that matter, but I will not. I think I will let it go through to the keeper. It is, perhaps, a matter that might not go away.

Having said that, the Labor Party is quite pleased to support this amendment. We are now pleased to see that it will pass through and we are now pleased to think that the ACT will have a specialist Children's Court magistrate to deal with the significant and serious issue of that interface that children have with the criminal justice system.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (4.40): Mr Speaker, I want to make one brief comment. As far as the comments of the Chief Minister and my comments are concerned, I can understand Mr Stanhope not wishing to pay much attention to our views. In fact, he made some very disparaging comments about our views on the effect of the original legislation. But I would hope that he would have more regard for the views of another key stakeholder in this process, views which he has seen and which, I suspect, are a little harder to dismiss in the way that he has dismissed the views of the Chief Minister and of me.

Remainder of Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.


MR BERRY (4.41): I move:

That unless otherwise ordered new standing order 229A be adopted:

"Presiding Member may adjourn or suspend sitting of Committee

229A. In the case of grave disorder arising either when a committee is taking evidence or deliberating, the Presiding

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