Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2621 ..
The Assembly voted-
Ayes 8 Noes 9
Mr Cornwell Mr Pratt Mr Berry Mr Quinlan
Mrs Cross Mr Smyth Mr Corbell Mr Stanhope
Mrs Dunne Mr Stefaniak Ms Dundas Ms Tucker
Mr Humphries Ms Gallagher Mr Wood
Ms MacDonald Mr Hargreaves
Question so resolved in the negative.
MRS DUNNE (10.30): I move the nice, neat amendment circulated in my name some time ago about proposed section 55F [see schedule 4 at page 2634].
Mr Deputy Speaker, this amendment adds something to the Medical Practitioners Act, something which, by what we have done previously today, is sadly lacking. What we have done previously today is we have taken away for the foreseeable future the possibility that we will be kept informed about just how many abortions there are in the ACT. We will not be able to tell whether Mr Berry's regime for making abortion safe, legal, accessible and rare is working because we will never know how many abortions take place in the ACT.
It is important information for us to have for a range of epidemiological reasons. It is most important that we keep this information and maintain it so that we can have some idea of just how many abortions are performed. As Mr Wood said at the very outset today, by any standards there are too many abortions in the ACT. We know that because of the operation of the previous legislation which has been repealed. We actually know for the first time that in 1999-2000 there were 1,700 abortions in the ACT and, as things currently look, they are trending down to 1,272.
We need to keep track of that. We need to be able to know in two or three years whether Mr Berry's regime has worked. Earlier this evening, Mr Corbell said that there is no need to keep statistics because we have the lovely Medicare statistics. I do not know how many times I have heard people explain to members who hold views about the collection of statistics exactly how inaccurate and inappropriate the Medicare statistics are. They are not comprehensive. They do not include any abortions performed-
Mr Hargreaves: Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I seek a ruling as to whether this amendment ought to be ruled out of order on the basis that we have just dealt with this subject and this provision is a straight lift out of a previous act which has now been repealed, so it cannot be reintroduced. On top of that, and I do not know the ruling for it, this amendment actually requires 50 penalty units to be applied to a public servant, a servant of the government, for not doing their job. I just do not know whether this amendment should be ruled out of order because the subject has already been dealt with in the repeal of a previous act.