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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2108 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

The pity of this, Mr Speaker, as I said before, is that it is almost certain that the Labor Party would have supported the legislation if only this had been done in accordance with some due and appropriate process. The process is not just flawed; it is basically non-existent. There is no process attaching to or associated with this issue. This matter should not be dealt with today. It is a very poor reflection on this place for us to do business in this way in relation to legislation that does not deserve this degree of urgency. It has been around for years. It would not hurt for this to wait another six weeks.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MS CARNELL: Speaking very briefly, Mr Moore has worked closely with Mr Wood on this. The legal opinion was provided to Mr Wood when he asked for it, I understand, last night. It was distributed to members last week. It is important that it is handled today. I just lay that on the table.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (11.49): Mr Speaker, I want to make a very brief comment. The legal advice referred to here is not legal advice relating to the amendments; it is legal advice relating to the general issue of a problem emerging with the legislation. There are a number of applications now before the board which give rise to the need to legislate fairly urgently, Mr Speaker. That is why this advice is immaterial to the issue before the house today. Six weeks delay means that a number of people, almost certainly, will be registered as psychologists who, on any reasonable reading of the matter, should not be registered as psychologists. It debases the concept of being a psychologist to have those people out there registered in that way.

The legislation was not introduced before yesterday because members wanted to adjourn the Assembly for seven days on account of the no-confidence motion. The Government was ready to introduce this Bill at the beginning of last week, on Tuesday of last week, but it was the wish of the Assembly that we not do government business at that time in order to allow seven days grace for the no-confidence motion.

Finally, Mr Speaker, the Opposition says it is concerned about the civil liberties of individuals. When it comes to recriminalising the actions of those people involved in the hospital implosion, there was no hesitation on the part of the Opposition to trample on their personal liberties with great alacrity. So let us have this nonsense about double standards being applied here put to one side.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

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