Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1908 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (11.09): I want to briefly add support for this legislation. We all look to enter the political process to become involved in a process like the making of laws for this territory by being members of this house in order to make a difference. We see contributions towards building a better legal framework, creating an end to wrongs, anomalies in the law and expanding the position of the citizens of our community as a way of making a mark in our public lives.
Mrs Cross has chosen to use the opportunity of amending the Discrimination Act as a way of making her mark in this place. Our job, as members of this place, is to keep our ears to the ground and look out for problems that may occur in the way in which our laws operate and our community functions. By doing so, by looking out for such problems in the ACT's case, Mrs Cross has identified a weakness in the discrimination legislation and has chosen to bring forward legislation in this way.
The Chief Minister's comments have been expressed as being in support of this legislation, but it sounded like they are also somewhat filled with pique.
Mr Stanhope: We will support the final amendment.
MR HUMPHRIES: That is wonderful to hear.
Mr Stanhope: We are not supporting this bill-that is the point I am making. We will support the amendments that are going to be introduced.
MR HUMPHRIES: It is great to hear that. I am pleased to see that you are so effusively supportive of an expansion of the rights of women in our community.
Mr Stanhope: It does not expand them! Did you not listen to what I said?
MR HUMPHRIES: If we are not expanding the rights of women, I do not know why we are passing the legislation.
Mr Stanhope: Good point! That is what I was saying, Gary!
MR HUMPHRIES: If you do not think that it is-
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Humphries, direct your comments though the chair.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, this legislation has been drafted for the purpose of making sure it is going to improve the rights of women. I am supporting it here today because I believe that is the effect of the legislation. I think the arguments that it fulfils no purpose are quite false.
Mr Stanhope: I did not say that. It does not change the law.
MR HUMPHRIES: If it fulfils the purpose, Mr Speaker, then it is worth passing today. It is worth passing with, I would submit, a little more grace than the Chief Minister has chosen to display with respect to this matter. Obviously he is piqued by the fact that