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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3092 ..

MRS BURKE (continuing):

As Ms Tucker said, it is true that past behaviour in this place has not been a good advertisement for politics and politicians. We must encourage each other to attain high levels of order and behaviour. We need to earn the respect of the public. Respect is not duly given-it has to be earned. I commend members on their level of decorum in and contribution to today's debate.

MR BERRY (7.49): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, one of the things that trouble me about this bill is that the period of consultation has not been long enough. There ought to have been a level of consultation hitherto not seen in this Assembly, because I do not think the television networks out there know what is about to hit them.

This Assembly is about to be placed in all the bars, taverns and clubs around this town where people, huddled around television watching Foxtel and other pay TV channels, are hooting, applauding and enjoying themselves. Their lives are about to change. Pretty soon those people will latch onto the in-depth and passionate debates of this place. You will hear the screams of joy when Mr Hird is lording it over us for breaching the standing orders. You will see Harold give the thumbs down. People will be saying, "Sort them out. Keep them in line, old son." I can just imagine all those people at the Labor Club throwing down a schooner or two and rejoicing at the chance to pass up Raiders and Brumbies games to watch the Assembly.

I do not think there has been enough consultation about this issue at all.

Mr Osborne: They will be sleeping outside overnight, waiting to get in.

MR BERRY: That is another issue for the Speaker. He will have to put a boom gate or something out there.

Mr Osborne: They will be camping outside in the lead-up to question time.

MR BERRY: There will be tickets sold to enter this place. They will be out on the footpath at Moby Dick's tavern in Kippax waiting for the celebration to start. And that is even without question time being shown-just imagine the demand when question time comes on!

Mrs Burke said that question time up on the hill is a circus. I do not think it is. I think it is about the passionate exchange of ideas on particular issues and the pursuit of different ideas around the place. The people out there want to see that. Nobody has ever rang me to ask for the proceedings of the Assembly to be telecast but I know from looking into people's eyes as I go around the electorate that they are saying, "We want to see more of you." This is the message that is coming through loud and clear.

I do not think people really understand the import of this bill and the level of consultation that ought to have happened beforehand. There is to be a bit of a break between now and when the rules that were talked about earlier have to be sorted out by the Assembly. So beware. I reckon that there will be all sorts of discussions with the major television companies and the pay TV providers about what will happen in this place after the next election.

Mr Stefaniak: Do you reckon we could get sponsorship?

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