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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 193 ..

Mr Stanhope: What is unparliamentary-"crap" or "Mr Rugendyke"?

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that comment.

Mr Stanhope: I withdraw "crap".

MR SPEAKER: Thank you.

MR RUGENDYKE: That sort of attack on our newest colleague in this place was highly objectionable. I also find it objectionable that, by Mr Stanhope's count, 10 to 15 per cent of people will be totally ignored. Perhaps the 70 per cent of people who did not vote Labor in the last election is closer to the mark.

Perhaps next year in a Rebikoff-led majority Labor government they will be able to push for this objectionable nonsense. How dare they suggest that Mr Kaine will be unable to swear allegiance to his monarch. If it were not for Mr Osborne, that right would have been taken away completely by Mr Tucker's amendments, which are supported by the Labor Party.

Mr Stanhope: He can do it every morning, Dave. He can get up and salute the picture of the Queen he has on his-

MR RUGENDYKE: Totally outrageous, Mr Stanhope. Mr Speaker, had it not been for Mr Osborne's amendments I would be voting totally against Ms Tucker's bills. I will support Mr Osborne's amendments so that Mrs Burke, Mr Stefaniak, Mr Kaine-

Mr Osborne: Mr Hargreaves.

MR RUGENDYKE: and Mr Hargreaves will have the choice to be able to swear allegiance to their monarch.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (9.26): Mr Speaker, I seem to recall that we have had debates on these bills, or some very similar bills, before so I suspect that we can go back to the Hansard to see the views that we had on those occasions. I am not sure what others have said in this debate but I simply want to record that I believe it is inappropriate to remove references to the Queen in our legislation until the Australian people make a decision about change. I know some people do not like the thought that the Queen is Australia's head of state, but the fact is that she is. I believe that the option should be there of swearing allegiance to her while she remains in that position. I think it is arrogant for politicians in this place or any part of Australia to remove references to the head of state in this way, pre-empting a decision which the Australian people and not politicians have to make.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Tucker, would you close the debate.


(9.27), in reply: My first point is that this is not quite the precedent that some people seem to think it is. A couple of years ago we passed in this place similar amendments to some government bills. These amendments, which related to magistrates in the Small Claims Court, were agreed to in this place and the legislation now before us

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