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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1218 ..

MRS BURKE (continuing):

The Liberal Party does not treat women in a condescending manner by thinking it must make a public statement on affirmative action for women. The Liberal Party promotes women candidates as equal. That is the point: women are considered equal. They do not need to have affirmative action because the Liberal Party promotes their very excellent women candidates equally.

Under the Hare-Clark system, we have the fairest and most effective way for any candidate to have a fair and equal chance of election. Every candidate, male or female, is elected on their merit. The Liberal Party has a policy of equality, promoting all of its candidates, be they sitting members or otherwise.

Mr Stanhope's almost fanciful and amusing "Tale of three electorates" and who will win what seat in what electorate was, as Mr Stefaniak said, absolutely fascinating. However, Mr Stanhope, I believe, is ducking the issue again: a fair go for women candidates in the ALP. The ALP knows full well that they do not give their women a fair go, never mind what electoral system is used.

In conclusion, the issue of women candidates being given a fair go is still a big embarrassment for the Labor Party but, given that they are a machine-driven party and not a community-focused party like the Liberal Party, it is easy to see why.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Assembly adjourned at 6.06 pm until Tuesday, 1 May 2001, at 10.30 am

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