Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2623 ..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
that have been chopped in this town. In effect, it already happens, so it is an unnecessary provision. If it did not ordinarily happen, you would not be able to have the state comparisons through the quarterly reports from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
The other thing is that the statistics collected are absolutely meaningless. The reason they are meaningless is not that they are not indicative and it is not that they do not tell a bit of a story; it is that they do not tell the whole story. Anybody who thinks they do tell the whole story is, frankly, kidding themselves. I did not vote for the repeal of the substantive legislation from which this provision has been lifted, had a word added and then resubmitted, but I was not supportive of this provision in that legislation. This is a dozy provision, totally dozy.
Mr Deputy Speaker, there are procedures which occur in our hospitals that are abortions under other names and they do not find their way into these statistics. These statistics are nowhere near accurate. I for one believe that it is an inappropriate use of legislative power to insist that we publish figures on anything if we know up front that they are not accurate and they are not complete. It is really dozy to do so. I believe that I am speaking for most people on this side of the house in saying that for a number of reasons we cannot possibly support this amendment, unfortunately.
MS DUNDAS (10.39): Mr Deputy Speaker, whilst I have no difficulty with statistics being collected on the number of terminations conducted, as with any other medical procedure, I do strongly object to the provisions in this amendment that require the reasons for an abortion to be made public, as well as the ages of the women concerned and the gestational ages of the foetuses at the time of abortion. We do not require such information either to be collected or to be reported publicly for any other medical procedure. Hence, I do not agree with its being done with this one.
MS TUCKER (10.40): The Greens will not be supporting this amendment, either. I notice that Mrs Dunne has added something to what was in Mr Osborne's legislation, that is, she has added, "Upon receipt, the minister shall cause the report to be published on the internet." It is quite interesting to me that this requirement has been added. It just seems to me to be making the point that, in some way, it is about the political agenda of Mrs Dunne and her supporters.
I do not have a problem with people having political agendas, but I just do not happen to share the view of Mrs Dunne and other people who support this provision that it is a good thing to put this information on the internet for the political agenda of particular people here. This information is getting very close to identifying people.
Mrs Dunne: It doesn't.
MS TUCKER: Of course it is if looked at every three months. It says:
The person or persons responsible for the management of an approved facility under 55C shall, not later than three months after the end of each calendar quarter, provide the minister with a report ...