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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3850 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

to disagree, as you said. I just do not appreciate your tone. It flies in the face of what you said and what I thought you meant today.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (9.01): My consultation with the community would have me support this amendment. The debating technique seems to be upsetting Ms Tucker. It is conventional debating technique. You appeal to a higher authority. When people say, "Nelson Mandela said so and so," that adds weight to their argument.

For the last six years, I have heard you come in here and say, "But I appeal to a higher authority, the community." "The community" is much more difficult to pin down than Nelson Mandela. If you pin down Nelson Mandela, somebody can find another quote from him that may show something different. But when you say "the community", it could be anybody. We all consult the community very broadly. I am illustrating to you very clearly that you are using a debating technique.

Your perception of the community is very different from somebody else's perception of the community. Your perception that the conservation council represents the community or represents even the environment community is misguided. Although we listen to people who take a strong interest in environmental issues and who may be involved in the environmental council or be parts of groups that go to the environmental council, that does not give them the weight to influence what we do here. I have heard not just you but many people over the years talking about the community supporting this and the community supporting that. I have aptly illustrated this evening-and I do not think I need to do it any more-that it is a very poor debating technique. Anybody can use it. It ought not to be used.

Mr Rugendyke: That was rather harsh.

MS TUCKER (9.03): No, it was not. It was just weak. This is the man who has worked with the Liberal government that produced a community consultation protocol which Tina Van Raay took charge of for a number of years and did a very good job with. There is a commitment from your government to involving the community in consultation on a number of issues. We have supported that consultation. It clearly spells out the processes. As a government, you have failed to follow those processes.

For that reason, your claims that I want to get something off my chest after three years or six years needs to be understood. If members of this place say they have consulted the community, it should be clearly understood that we represent a particular constituency. When other members have raised these sorts of accusations or challenges in this place before, I have explained that we talk to a lot of people in the community to inform our policies. That is the way we should inform policy. Public policy can be improved by talking to people who have experience of the reality of laws.

Mr Moore, if you look through Hansard, you will see that I have explained that. I remember that when we did the fast food bill you were outraged. You said, "Whom did you consult?" I made the point then that we talked to the fast food people and they did not like it. The Greens have never said that we do what everyone in the community says. As an elected representative in this place, we have a particular constituency that we will

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