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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2625 ..

MRS DUNNE (10.45): To close the debate, when provisions similar to this one were passed in the Assembly in 1998-I did observe at fairly close quarters the passing of them-I thought that they would not make much difference, but we have seen that they have made a difference. We have seen a fall in the statistics. We do not know the reason for the fall in the number of abortions performed in the ACT. We could speculate about that. We could say that people go interstate and those sorts of things. The statistics show us something, but today we have denied that those statistics tell a story. Mr Berry wants to deny that those statistics tell a story and he wants to suppress the statistics.

Ms Tucker and other members have made quite a few points that need to be commented on. Mr Hargreaves said that we should never legislate to collect statistics that might be inaccurate. The ABS collects countless volumes of statistics, many of which are highly inaccurate. The unemployment figures for the ACT are enormously inaccurate. They are so inaccurate that you could drive a Mack truck through them.

Mr Corbell: We will remember that next time you raise them.

MRS DUNNE: I rarely raise unemployment statistics. I cannot remember the last time I raised unemployment statistics because they are, in many ways, quite inaccurate. All they do is show a trend. These figures also show a trend. We have to be very careful about what we throw out. Today, we are throwing the baby out with the bath water. If we throw the figures away, if we break the time series, they will never be as useful again.

In many ways, I do not expect Mr Berry to support this amendment and I am not surprised that Ms Tucker does not support it, but I want to put on the record that these people have introduced today a regime that will change the way that we deal with abortion in the ACT and will now move to suppress the means of assessing its effect.

Question put:

That Mrs Dunne's amendment to insert new section 55F be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-

Ayes 5 Noes 12

Mrs Dunne Mr Berry Mr Hargreaves

Mr Humphries Mr Corbell Ms MacDonald

Mr Pratt Mr Cornwell Mr Quinlan

Mr Smyth Mrs Cross Mr Stanhope

Mr Stefaniak Ms Dundas Ms Tucker

Ms Gallagher Mr Wood

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

Clause 4 agreed to.

Title agreed to.

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