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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2619 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

the way they conduct themselves within the realms of their consciences. We are here today talking exclusively about our consciences.

Mr Corbell: I rise to a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. The motion is in relation to the suspension of standing orders, not the substantive matter on which Mrs Dunne is seeking to move an amendment.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. You must make a case for the suspension of standing orders, not debate the actual amendment in this case.

MRS DUNNE: The amendment which I have circulated and which, as Mr Wood pointed out, I did so tardily aims to clarify proposed new section 55E in an important way. It is a simple matter that will take up a couple of moments of members' time. It is a matter of indulgence, but much of what has happened today is a matter of indulgence and it would be remiss of us not to consider in this place the future of institutions.

MR HARGREAVES (10.22): I think that it is in order for me to respond. I thought that the standard of debate was starting to degenerate a bit when Mrs Dunne referred to us as cronies of Mr Berry's. It is a badge of honour that I wear.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is not for reference in terms of the suspension of standing orders.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Deputy Speaker, as Mrs Dunne said, we can seek to suspend standing orders and do those sorts of things all night long. I am concerned that they are just prolonging the debate. We have seen the substantive things go down. I have been on the losing side and I have copped it. I did not like it, but I have copped it. I do not think that we need to use up too much time now with all of this filibustering. We should all just get on with it.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

MRS DUNNE (10.23): I thank the Assembly for its indulgence and I move the amendment circulated in my name in relation to proposed new section 55E [see schedule 3 at page 2634].

This is a simple matter. I would like to reinforce the need for this legislature to have regard in this place for the conscience of not only the medical fraternity, but also the medical institutions. Members of the Assembly, this is the Calvary amendment. It allows Calvary Hospital to continue to operate as it currently does, by its ethos, and not perform abortions because it would be counter to its philosophy to do so.

MR BERRY (10.24): As you go along, you whack in another one. This amendment is just a nonsense. No-one is under such a duty-nobody. There might be a friendly hospital which operates without any people in it and which is able to refer people without the assistance of other people, but I have not seen one yet. I reckon that the Health Minister would really like to have a hospital that did not need expensive staff in it to do all the work, but such a hospital does not exist. The fact of the matter is that "no-one" means "no body". In my estimation of things, somebody usually does things on behalf of an organisation. This amendment is just a nonsense.

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