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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2099 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

Mr Speaker, we are not saying that we are absolutely opposed to this legislation. What we are saying is that the Minister needs to spend a little bit more time convincing the Leader of the Opposition that what he is about to do is fair and reasonable.

There are a few other points that members should take into account when they are considering this issue. The Minister circulated the draft of this last Thursday and introduced the Bill yesterday. There was a long covering letter apparently, but there are some relevant questions which we think were not addressed adequately. We are not aware of the attitude of the Psychologists Board, on my advice, in relation to the matter. Neither are we aware of the circumstances in relation to the six applicants. It would be unfair to call on us, I think, to support retrospective - - -

Ms Carnell: We are going to.

MR BERRY: You are going to call on us to do so? Okay. If you want to ram through legislation which affects the personal rights and liberties of people, you will not be getting our support unless we know what we are doing.

Ms Carnell: I can explain it to you.

MR BERRY: So you are going to speak out in this place, for the public record, and tell us about the personal circumstances of each of the applicants before the board.

Ms Carnell: No, I am not. Of course not. You will not get that information from anyone.

MR BERRY: Well, I can tell you that, if you are not prepared to do that, we are not prepared to support it. We would not ask you to do that on the public record anyway. We would prefer private advice in relation to the specific circumstances of the applicants. Mr Speaker, yes, the Government is in a hurry to deal with this, I can tell, but immediately I sit down we will be moving to adjourn debate on this issue. We are perfectly happy to listen to argument for the rest of the day in relation to the matter, and we are perfectly happy to bring it back on later, but at this point the case is a bit shaky and there are some possible unforeseen circumstances which have not been clearly explained to us. It is unfair for you to call on us to pass retrospective legislation without us knowing the full effects of what you are intending to do. I put it to you, and I put it to other members in this place, that a little bit more groundwork needs to be done.

MS TUCKER (11.15): I would like a little bit more time to look at this as well. I do not know that it has to be done today.

Ms Carnell: It needs to be today.

MS TUCKER: I have just seen this. I know the arguments for dealing with it today. I see that Michael Moore says he has corrected the concerns. I am supporting the view that we need more time, but not necessarily past today.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (11.16): Mr Speaker, maybe it would be appropriate - - -

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