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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4153 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 123, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 124.

MS TUCKER (7.59): I move amendment No 2 circulated in my name [see schedule 5 at page 4191]. I have already spoken to the amendment.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (7.59): I will take the opportunity to respond to a couple of points. The points I need to respond to in relation to comments made by both Mr Stefaniak and Mr Cornwell go to the import of Ms Tucker's amendments. It is essentially the same for both amendment No 1 and amendment No 2 and my comments apply to both.

It is important, in looking at Ms Tucker's amendments, to have particular regard to the words "only because". I do think with respect to Mr Cornwell and Mr Stefaniak that they have not taken sufficient notice of the importance or the impact of the words "only because"in Ms Tucker's amendments, the amendment currently being debated and the previous amendment.

The proposal in relation to the amendment we are currently debating commences, "To remove any doubt."That is what we are doing; we are removing any doubt. I have said what is the government's intention. I have given a good explanation of what, at law, the government's clause does. I have given, I am sure, a persuasive explanation of how it will be interpreted, how it will be used by the DPP, how it will be used by the police, how it will be dealt with in court. I say, and I do not resile from this, that under no circumstances will it be used by the police or the DPP or will it be interpreted in court as applying to protests, strikes or lockouts.

But there are some non-believers here. Ms Tucker is one. Ms Tucker says, "Let's put this beyond doubt."I say it, but Ms Tucker chooses not to believe me. Ms Tucker says, "Let's put this beyond doubt,"so she moves an amendment to remove any doubt. "A person does not commit an offence against this section only because"-only because-"the person intends to or threatens to take part in a protest, strike or lockout."

If a person takes part in a strike, a protest or a lockout, and commits sabotage, then the full force of the law will fall on them. That is what we have done today. We have said, "You can have a strike, you can have a protest, you can have a lockout, but if in the course of the strike, the protest or the lockout you commit sabotage, then we will charge you with sabotage. But if you are just protesting, striking or involved in a lockout, then we won't."That is what we have done, and I am happy with that.

It is like a mini bill of rights. That is what it is; we are agreeing to a mini bill of rights. We are acknowledging that in a free and democratic nation such as Australia, particularly in the ACT, there is a right to protest, strike or be engaged in a lockout. That is what we are doing; we are saying that we acknowledge these as rights. But what we

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