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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4172 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

However, despite my strong views, I have always been aware of the fact that the numbers were not with me in this place on this issue. I think Mr Hird is right. If you go outside this place and ask others what they think, the numbers might not be so clear-cut. But in this place there is a determination on the part of a majority to go ahead with a trial of this kind. I have had to say to myself, "Okay, the trial is to go ahead regardless of what I think". I rely on the good sense of my colleagues in this place to make sure that the trial, if it is to go ahead, is to be soundly based, soundly conducted and soundly evaluated.

I find that my faith in these people has been misplaced, because we have got a piece of legislation before us that does nothing except set up a trial. That is all it does. It is set up on the spurious basis that we are conducting a scientific trial. I know they picked those words up to try to get around our responsibilities under international treaties. The only way you can do such a trial is to claim that it is scientific. We have a trial with no science about it at all, yet claimed by its proponents to be scientific. If it is scientific, where in this piece of legislation does it set down the evaluation criteria to determine whether it was a success or not? The answer is nowhere.

Where is there the requirement in this legislation to actually record what goes on in this place, so that you have got some data to look at after the event? Nowhere. The legislation is silent. Where is there in this legislation any indication of who is going to conduct an independent evaluation of this trial after it is over, so that we can determine whether it was successful or not? Nowhere. The legislation is silent on it. And this is supposed to be a scientific trial! People speak eloquently in favour of this wonderful trial they are going to conduct. It is not wonderful to me. The legislation has significant flaws. It lacks any reference to operating procedures or guidelines, or anything else that will determine how this place is to be conducted and under what conditions.

I raised a couple of questions about some of these issues last Tuesday when we tabled a report of the scrutiny of Bills committee. I am sad to say that the Leader of the Opposition let me down. "No problem, have a look at my proposed amendments", he said. "It is all in there". I would just like to quote from the Hansard. I raised the question, "What happens if a 12-year-old child turns up at this facility? Who does what and under what authority?". Mr Stanhope said, "It is all fixed. Read my amendments, which you have had for months".

I have not only read his amendments but have them in front of me. What is his solution for juveniles - just sticking to that one point alone - who turn up at this facility and expect to be welcomed with open arms? His solution is that a committee will be established. And, at some future, undefined time, the Minister will consult with that committee to determine the terms and conditions on which persons under 18 may attend the facility. It ought to be in the law, Mr Speaker. We are being asked tonight to enact legislation. Technically, this place could be set up next week.

Mr Moore has already promised that it will be in effect before this year is out. So, no doubt, he would be moving very quickly to do it. We have got to wait for the Minister to set up a committee and then consult with it before we can know what the terms and conditions are under which persons under 18 may attend the facility or, indeed, the terms and conditions of access by any person to the facility. Mr Stanhope says, "She'll

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