Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2960 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
Mr Speaker, the number of older people in Canberra is increasing and it is important to provide a range of housing types that meet their needs. This site in Bruce represents an opportunity to increase the amount of accommodation in the high care end of the market. The proximity of the site to Calvary Hospital also provides an opportunity to maximise the linkages and benefits for both facilities.
Mr Corbell presented the following paper:
Petition which does not conform with the standing orders-Ms Tucker-East O'Malley proposed land auction (222 citizens).
Self-determination-right of ACT community
Discussion of matter of public importance
MR SPEAKER: I have received a letter from Mr Hargreaves proposing that a matter of public importance be submitted to the Assembly, namely:
The need for the Commonwealth government to recognise the rights of the ACT community to self-determination.
MR HARGREAVES (3.19): There have recently been some conversations through the media about the roles of the Assembly and the federal government, with regard to our autonomy and sovereignty within the Australian Capital Territory. Thus, I have been moved to make comment in this Assembly. The reason I do so is because I want to hear what members of the Assembly have to say about the sovereignty of the ACT.
Mr Speaker, the ACT has the right to look after its own affairs, without Commonwealth intervention-we have a right to self-determination. What is the point of self-government if there are going to be unreasonable limitations on it? The federal minister for territories is hell-bent on denying ACT citizens the right to self-determination-enjoyed by every other jurisdiction in the country. Even the Northern Territory, with a significantly smaller population than that of the ACT, has a right to determine its own affairs, albeit with the power of veto retained by the federal government. Indeed, there have been mutterings over the past decade about possible statehood for that territory. With a population near double that of the Northern Territory, not only are we not even under consideration for statehood-possibly quite correctly-we are finding that the interventions of the Commonwealth government are making this territory even more of a second-class citizen than the Northern Territory.
The statement by the minister for territories that "a territory is a territory, is a territory" shows his disregard for the people who live and work here. In his mind, we are second-class citizens who do not have the same rights as the people who live in states. Mr Tuckey's arrogant uttering that "a territory is created by an act of the federal parliament and as such is subject to the views of the federal parliament"-and here is the rub"-"and that's it" shows an appalling attitude to the people of the ACT.