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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2963 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

Westminster system, the democratic process and appropriate representation of people. We have been struggling to make this Assembly the mature parliament that I believe it has grown into.

Mr Humphries: This speech does not help it, John.

MR HARGREAVES: I hear from the Chief Minister that it does not help it.

Mr Pratt: Nice promotion!

MR HARGREAVES: I made the big mistake of thinking of Mr Humphries as the Chief Minister. I am happy to go outside and have the meat flailed off my back for such a stupid comment. I beg your pardon. I should have said "the senator". In fact, I should have said "the Leader of the Opposition", but I got confused between Mr Humphries and Mr Smyth, for a moment.

Mr Speaker, if one can detect a certain degree of anger in my demeanour at the moment, it is real. I feel deeply offended by the interference of the minister for territories-by his approach in trying to flick the blame for actions to do with the Aboriginal tent embassy. I am afraid I find grossly insulting his utterings that he will have the final say, and that he will be the paternalistic father who will look after the interests of us all-or words to that effect. I would like to find out from those opposite, who do have an influence with this minister, whether or not they support his views and whether they support our merely being an advisory body to the minister for territories. I certainly do not support that view.

In conclusion, I fear that might not be possible. I fear that the observation of the minister for territories by the shadow minister for territories, Gavan O'Connor-that Wilson Tuckey is a political thug who has demonstrated again and again throughout his long political career that he is not interested in reasoned debate, due process or considered decision-making-rings true. It rings true for me.

Mr Speaker, we can have from those opposite only two things. They can rise up and, in different words, express support for the self-determination of the people of the ACT, telling us exactly how they propose to use their influence to bring that about. Alternatively, they can get up and bash me for my criticisms of Mr Tuckey.

I do not mind if they want to get up and belt me for that. I am happy to cop it, as long as I hear, in the middle of it, that the self-determination for the people of the ACT is dear to their hearts. If you want to belt me, go for it! However, if you also stand up here and say that you are prepared to defend the self-determination of the people of the ACT, I will congratulate you for it. If you do not say that, the people of the ACT will be well aware that those opposite are quite content to sit in this chamber and pass legislation in the comfort of knowing that, if they use their lobbying skills enough, people are placed in the right jobs, and that, using the sway they have, they can thwart the legitimately elected government of the ACT.

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (3.33): Mr Speaker, in his opening remarks, Mr Hargreaves made reference to the need to develop the maturity of the ACT parliament and the need for the maturity of the parliament to be used to advance the interests of the community.

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