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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2427 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

There have been a number of ministerial councils and, as Mr Stanhope has said, there are two committees examining the detail. What has been produced for Australia-and therefore for states and territories and the community organisations within those states and territories-is a set of legislation that makes things better and not worse. That is the process. Unfortunately, that process takes time, and we are seeing this cheap jack petty politicking and stupidity. I mean, it is stupidity.

Mr Stefaniak said that he was sure that, in their position, we would not agree to a suspension of standing orders. Not in our worst day would we puddle with the legislation that Mr Smyth is contemplating. It is totally inconsistent with what is happening across Australia and what is happening with the intergovernmental agreement, which is gaining the support of both the Neave committee and the Ipp committee in making sure that we do it properly. But no, Brendan Smyth knows better.

Plainly, what we have is one of the ultimate stupidities in my time in this place-seeing someone like Mr Smyth now saying, "I am going to rush through these bits of legislation because they will solve the problem."

Mrs Dunne : Mr Speaker, on a point of order: if Mr Quinlan wants to make those points, he should wait and see whether Mr Smyth introduces legislation. Then he can debate those points. This is about whether or not we suspend standing orders. Can we stay on the substantive motion about the suspension of standing orders?

MR SPEAKER: I am sure Mr Quinlan is coming to that point.

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I was actually responding to elements in this debate that were introduced by Mr Stefaniak when he used the term "petty politics". I did say that I agree with him that some elements in this house have descended into petty politics over this issue, an issue which is-I am sorry-bigger than you, Mr Smyth. Don't mess with it. You are going to create bad situations where the Commonwealth, the states and the territories are working towards putting together complementary, uniform legislation wherever possible to solve the problem, not win some race to get legislation into this house.

MR SPEAKER: The member's time has expired. So, too, has the time for this debate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Mr Stanhope, by leave, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (12.09): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, Australian insurers are in turmoil. Companies have disappeared or collapsed, products have been withdrawn or have increased in price. Every business, every community group and every family has been touched. Some have been hit hard.

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