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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 552 ..

Mr Kaine: How ridiculous is this debate becoming? We have been inundated with this stuff for days. Here we are, about to begin the debate in detail on this bill, and I have six different sets of amendments now placed before me. How am I supposed to understand what these amendments do, Mr Speaker? I suggest that we ought to adjourn the debate for another week so that we can have a look at all this stuff that keeps pouring in to us. If the legislation is so bad that we have to keep bringing this number of amendments in at this stage of the debate, why don't we just adjourn the debate entirely until the government introduces an acceptable bill? It is getting a bit beyond me, Mr Speaker. I have no idea what these amendments purport to do, none whatsoever, and yet you are going to ask me to debate them and vote on them. I think it is a scandal, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Kaine, first of all I would observe that the amendments that have come down do not appear to come from the government. Nevertheless, I take your point that they are coming in very late. It would seem to me that the sensible thing to do would be to adjourn the debate until members can have an opportunity to have a look at these amendments.

Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, I believe that these amendments that came in are the same amendments; they are just colour coded. They are colour coded as a convenient way of making sure that members know which one we are talking about at any given time. This bill has not only been the subject of a huge amount of discussion outside the chambers, but also has been adjourned a number of times already. The colour coding, I think, is a useful way of assisting members to understand which amendments they are discussing at any given time.

Mr Stanhope: That is not entirely true, Mr Speaker. We have been keeping abreast of this, but the government has introduced amendments this morning which none of us have seen. I understand what you are proposing.

Mr Stefaniak: There are several there as a result of discussions with your office, Mr Stanhope. Yes, there are a couple of those which are new as a result of discussions with your staff.

MR SPEAKER: Order! One at a time. Well, what is the wish of the Assembly?

Mr Stanhope: Trevor wants to move for an adjournment. He can still move it.

Mr Moore: Our wish is to proceed, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kaine: With due respect, Mr Speaker, I think the government ought to be moving for an adjournment. I do not know what sort of a dog's breakfast this legislation is going to end up as if we proceed to debate all this stuff without anybody ever having seen it. I think the minister ought to be moving the adjournment.

MR SPEAKER: There are three options-to proceed now, to adjourn to a later hour today, or to adjourn to a later day. It is entirely in the Assembly's hands.

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