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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 4040 ..

Mr Stanhope: I was not by my Ginninderra colleague.

MR HUMPHRIES: You can buy into interjections from him, but I heard you in silence, Mr Stanhope, and I expect the same courtesy from you. The fact is that in 1996 the Australian Labor Party held up security cameras consistently and without apology. I refer to the Hansard of 29 February. The then Labor Opposition Leader, Rosemary Follett, said:

I believe that this issue is one that both the community and this Assembly need to weigh very carefully before we take action that would impose surveillance upon people's private lives, and that is what the proposition being put forward by Mr Humphries involves.

Does it sound like support, Mr Speaker?

Mr Stanhope: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. This is intellectually dishonest and disingenuous in the extreme. That was months before a select committee. Ms Follett followed through on that undertaking. She at least had the capacity to do it. She followed through as a member of a select committee and recommended a trial of security cameras. How paltry is this defence?

MR SPEAKER: I do not uphold the point of order. It is perhaps a point of debate, but it certainly is not a point of order.

MR HUMPHRIES: What Ms Follett was doing at that time was leading the charge by the Labor Party to prevent cameras going in in Civic as planned by the Liberal Government. We had announced intentions to implement cameras at that stage, in 1996, pursuant to our election promise. We were ready to do that, and the Labor Party said, "No cameras go into Civic until we have had an inquiry". Ms Follett said:

My concerns about the surveillance cameras could be summarised as, first of all, that I do not know whether they are going to work. We know that police presence in Civic, on all the evidence we have, does work. I would hate to think we might somehow be bringing about some kind of fool's paradise where we rely on a piece of mechanical equipment to do a job that ought to be done by properly paid and properly trained officers of our police force.

It does not sound much like a party enamoured of security cameras, does it, Mr Speaker? It does not sound like a party that was looking forward to putting those cameras in. Again, I quote:

I do not believe that it is appropriate for the ACT community to be subjected to this kind of surveillance ...

Mr Speaker, does it sound like a party enthusiastic about security cameras?

Mr Hargreaves: It sounds like a weak dinosaur argument to me.

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