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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 886 ..




Detail Stage

Bill as a whole

Debate resumed.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.57): We had almost concluded the debate on this matter, I believe, at the previous interlude. I think the issues have been fairly well covered, but I want to respond in particular to some of the comments Mr Rugendyke made. I have to say, Mr Rugendyke, that I did think during your speech that you were outlining the reasons why you would support the amendments. I thought you gave a fairly good speech in support of the amendments and was surprised that, in fact, you indicated after your speech that that was not your intention. Regrettably and with great respect, Mr Rugendyke, you completely misunderstand the difference between a person's civil liberties and a person's right to choose. There is a significant difference between the two.

I did say in my opening remarks that one of the reasons that I felt that all members could support these amendments was that most people in remand at the Belconnen Remand Centre, when offered the opportunity of being carted around in the back of a hot and confined van and of spending the entire day in the holding cells under the police station, would probably choose to remain in the Remand Centre.

Mr Hargreaves: They do.

Mr Rugendyke: You got that right, Jon.

MR STANHOPE: I agree. That is my point.

Mr Hargreaves: That is his point.

Mr Rugendyke: That is my point.


: Everyone agrees. We all agree that this is no big issue as a matter of practice. We all agree on that, and that is the point. It gives the lie to the main, initial assertion of the Attorney that here we were concerned about the enormous cost that would be involved in transporting prisoners from the Remand Centre to the Magistrates Court. We are all agreeing now that almost nobody would take advantage of the opportunity to appear in person. All we are saying is that they should not be denied that opportunity. They should not be denied that opportunity. On what basis can you

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