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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (13 October) . . Page.. 3101 ..

Mr Humphries (continuing):

serious because they do that. If I say, "I have heard it said that Mr Y is a paedophile", clearly that is an abuse of standing order 54 about using offensive words against a member or a member of the judiciary. Mr Stanhope cannot hide behind the device of saying, "Somebody else said that and I am just repeating it in the Assembly". He is using those words and he should withdraw them.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold Mr Humphries' point of order. I have referred to House of Representatives Practice, Mr Stanhope, which we do refer to. Page 475 states:

A member is not allowed to use unparliamentary words -

which is what standing order 54 refers to -

by the device of putting them in someone else's mouth or in the course of a quotation.

So I would ask you to withdraw.

MR STANHOPE: I have no difficulty withdrawing on the basis of your request, Mr Speaker. It is a pity, though, that I will now have to leave out a whole paragraph of my speech.

Given the obstruction that I and many people believe Mr Osborne's proposal that there be a specialist magistrate has received, in discussions with one of those parties which originally supported Mr Osborne and his proposal for a specialist court magistrate, it has now been suggested to me that it would be appropriate for the legislation to be changed, almost as an admission of defeat. Basically, the Assembly's will has been thwarted. The interests of children are not being met. The will of the Assembly, the will of the parliament, is not being implemented. For the sake of children facing court, it would now be best to simply concede at this stage in this place, with the opposition that there is.

It is interesting to me - and I understand Mr Rugendyke's determination to see this sorry saga come to some conclusion - that Mr Rugendyke, who spoke in favour of Mr Osborne's Bill and who supported the Bill, has now introduced this amendment. I understand that Mr Rugendyke in that process received some encouragement from the Government to do so.

As the Attorney has said, the Bill will amend the Children's Services Act to require the Chief Magistrate to declare a Children's Court Magistrate for a term of up to two years and to revoke a declaration on request of the Children's Court Magistrate. This is the nub of the change. What that provision does is revert us to precisely where we were before - basically an open discretion to remove at will, on a whim, anybody for the time being performing the duties of the Children's Court Magistrate. In other words, the declaration of a Children's Court Magistrate can simply be revoked at will. In effect, as I just said, the position has been turned back to precisely where it was before Mr Osborne commenced this legislative process. It has been turned back to precisely

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