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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 189 ..

Ms Tucker: You don't know what I could have said. I was very restrained.

MR OSBORNE: I will show more compassion towards Ms Tucker than she has shown to the people in here who want to swear allegiance to the Queen.

But let us take it a step further. The natural progression from Ms Tucker's option is to remove allowing people to swear on the Bible. There are people in here who do not believe in God. So that may well be the next step-let us just have an oath; do not allow people who believe in God to swear on the Bible. This would be regrettable.

Mr Corbell: It's nonsense.

MR OSBORNE: It is not nonsense. It is exactly what Ms Tucker is attempting to do with this legislation.

Mr Speaker, a couple of years ago the Administration and Procedure Committee looked at the issue of removing the opening prayer. At the end of the day I think we had a fair compromise in that people had the option to pray or reflect. I think Ms Tucker has not given much thought to what she is attempting to do with this legislation because it flies in the face of many of the things that she has said in this place about different topics. She is imposing her belief-a belief that I support-on the people in here, like Mr Kaine, who have had a lifelong allegiance to the Queen. I disagree with him. I do not swear allegiance to the Queen but we had a referendum and the Queen is here to stay.

I think some of the precedents that will be set by Ms Tucker's legislation are regrettable and I hope that she will give it some more thought in the future. As I said, I think I am in agreement with her on the issue of the monarchy but we lost at the last referendum. What my amendments do is give people a choice. This is the only time that you will see me putting forward amendments on being pro-choice.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (9:08): Mr Speaker, I am pleased to join Mr Osborne on this pro-choice stance because it brings to mind a number of things I want to say. Mr Kaine mentioned that he had been taking the oath of allegiance all his life and that perhaps Mr Corbell does not understand that. Indeed, I remember that when I was commissioned as an officer by Mr Kaine I also took an oath of allegiance to the Queen and her successors, according to law. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a time when, as a result of a referendum, the law will be changed and the Queen or her successors will no longer be our monarch. I would feel very comfortable about that.

Mr Kaine: If that happens, I will live with it.

MR MOORE: Mr Kaine, I would suggest to you that Mr Corbell probably does not remember what it was like to stand in a picture theatre when the national anthem was being played.

Mr Corbell: Fortunately not.

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