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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2827 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

the slightest degree. We are only debating one issue. That is the issue that you put your finger on, Ms Tucker: The decisions in this case should be full and informed. That is why I support the notion of including all the available information, not excluding some because it is repugnant to certain people that it should be displayed. I am not even going to get into the debate about whether women are obliged to read it or not obliged to read it. I do not care whether they read it. But the information ought to be available to them to read and to peruse, if they choose to do so.

I do not accept the argument, first of all, that I, as a male, ought not be involved. I do not accept the argument presented by our Speaker that a vote of nine to eight on this issue ought not be the end of the matter. It should be, just the same as it is on any of the range of issues that we debate in this place. I will not exclude myself from such a debate because I happen to be born male. I have an interest in the outcomes of these issues, just as everybody else in this room has - male or female. The proposition that somehow we males should all exclude ourselves from such a debate is, in my view, preposterous.

In the whole of this debate today there has been only one thing of concern to me, that is, the accuracy of the information. If it is to be published, it has to be accurate. Some people have questioned whether it is accurate. I am not a medical specialist; I do not know. But I do ask the Ministers who have enacted this subordinate legislation to satisfy themselves that the information contained in it is accurate and, if it proves not to be so, to correct it forthwith. I do not think that we can ask for anything more than that. When the time comes to vote, I will certainly vote - I would not exclude myself - and my position is quite clear.

MR HARGREAVES (4.19): I would like to take up very quickly a point that Mr Kaine made. I agree with him on it. I do not propose to refrain from considering this issue just because I am a male. It is my view that we have a 50 per cent stake in this matter. But it has to be understood, I think, that at some point there is a final decision to be made and we males do not get to make that final decision. We do not, we never will and we have never been able to. But it is incumbent upon us to assist in making that decision as easy as we possibly can. I accept what Mr Kaine was saying.

I have dug into Hansard and picked up a few things that people have said and I would like to quote something that the Chief Minister said. She said:

I cannot understand why information put together in a medical way by people who are experts in this area could be a problem.

Incidentally, I am quoting from Hansard of 25 November, page 2992. She went on to say:

The people who will decide what is in this brochure are the people set down in this legislation, subject to possible amendment.

I read "subject to possible amendment" to be subject to interference. I was surprised and disappointed to hear that.

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