Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1604 ..
Mr Stanhope: How long have you been stuffing around with that Bill, Michael? When did you first introduce it?
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Stanhope, you have spoken already.
MR MOORE: This is a serious matter, Mr Stanhope.
Mr Stanhope: It is because of your incompetence. When did you introduce the Bill?
MR SPEAKER: Order, please! I understand that there is a good deal of tension in this house, but I am not going to tolerate constant interjections from anybody.
MR MOORE: Mr Stanhope has questioned my competence at a time when it is appropriate that I question his competence, because it is Mr Stanhope who has put up this motion. It is Mr Stanhope who ought to recognise that this motion will mean that there is no protection for people with a mental illness and will mean that there will be no protections for the rest of society from people who act in an inappropriate way because they have a mental illness. That is the effect of the motion you have put up, Mr Stanhope. You have not considered it. For heaven's sake, you are the Opposition's spokesman on health. How dare you talk about my competence, Jon Stanhope!
Mr Stanhope also questioned whether my action is legal - an excellent question. Of course my actions are legal, just as every action taken personally by the Chief Minister in regard to Bruce Stadium has been legal. She has taken responsibility for what happened within her department. Will you now take responsibility for what you have done?
MR SPEAKER: Order! Sit down. I repeat that I will not tolerate constant interjections and I will have no compunction about naming and removing members from this house.
MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, the point that I am trying to make and would like members to consider is that we have a very serious problem in front of us at the moment that does have to be dealt with. We have to deal with the mental health legislation in one of two ways. A sunset clause does exist. We can extend the sunset clause beyond 30 June, but we would need to do that before this Assembly adjourns, or we can deal with the mental health legislation, which has taken a long time because I have negotiated with all members in a very open and broad way and I have had at a series of community meetings - I know that Mr Rugendyke has attended, Mr Wood has been at, I think, every one of those meetings and Ms Tucker has been at every one of those meetings or at least had a representative there - in order to make sure that we could get an agreed position on the mental health legislation.
Earlier today I circulated the amendments from the last of those community meetings. I believe that the mental health legislation is actually ready to be passed because all the compromises have been made - I think members would probably agree with that - and that that could be done quite reasonably and very quickly; but that is something that was not thought about and ought to have been thought about in this regard. I think we have