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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 194 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

is the next logical step in continuing to remove this quite irrelevant and anachronistic aspect of office.

Mr Stefaniak said in his speech that people from all over Australia would be coming to the ACT. But this legislation is about Supreme Court judges, coroners and members of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal swearing or undertaking their oath of office. So I am not quite sure what Mr Stefaniak was thinking. He may have misunderstood.

No-one has addressed a critical point that I am certain I would have covered in my tabling speech. I am surprised that Mr Humphries did not respond to it. The legal connection between Australia, the UK and the monarchy in respect of these functions no longer exists. Those legal ties have been cut. What we are doing now is asking officers to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. The Queen may well be the head of state but there are no legal ties so it is a pointless and irrelevant exercise.

It is literally about wanting to swear allegiance to the Queen because she is still the head of state in this country. But that is not relevant to officers' duties here. People in this place can swear allegiance to the Queen any time they want to. Anybody can stand up in this place and do that if they want to. But it is not relevant to the function of the officers that we are talking about in the legislation. What is much more relevant is that they serve the people of Australia-Australia is not even mentioned-and the people of Canberra. I think it is entirely appropriate that there be relevance in respect of the swearing of oaths of allegiance and that is exactly why we have put forward this legislation.

There has been a lot of debate about the republic but I do not think I will go into it. However, it is true that the majority of people in Canberra did want and support the republic and so it is interesting to me that suddenly you have this broader loyalty when it suits you in arguments. Often you are not interested in considering issues that I bring up which might go wider than the ACT but in this case it suits you to do so.

Mr Kaine: That is different.

MS TUCKER: Mr Kaine says, "That is different." Basically we know that people in the ACT are supportive of this so, if you are representing your constituents as you claim that you always like to do, you would be supporting this legislation.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR OSBORNE (9.31): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to move two amendments circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

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