Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4154 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
are saying is: "No matter what you do, no matter how you behave, if you commit sabotage, you will be prosecuted."That is what we have done.
Ms Tucker, I wanted to respond to assure you that I was not impugning you in any way. I was not for a second suggesting that you do not take as seriously as the rest of us the need for us, as a community, to be fully aware of the issues we face as a result of terrorist acts. That was not in my mind for a second. I regret that you thought that I might have been suggesting otherwise; I certainly was not. I know that you take these issues very seriously. I respect fully your respect for civil liberties and for rights. I acknowledge that, and acknowledge it absolutely.
I do not appreciate or engage in the notion that, if somebody supports civil liberties, therefore they are soft on terrorism. I cannot abide that sort of cheap point scoring.
MR STEFANIAK (8.03): I will not go over what I said before. I still have the same concerns, although I will say for the benefit of any judge or magistrate who might be trying to interpret the legislation that they should take heed of what the Chief Minister just said in relation to someone committing an act of sabotage after they have engaged in a strike or protest. This amendment would not stop the clause being invoked were that the case.
I think that that is a very good expose of what at least the Chief Minister thinks is the import of this provision. If it is the case that that is how it should be interpreted, we may not go too far wrong there. I got a bit worried, I must say, when Ms Tucker said that this situation is very similar to something that happened in New Zealand and Canada.
I do not necessarily know if we should be slavishly following other jurisdictions there. I have concerns about a few things that those countries do, but that is by the by. But I need to make that point in terms of statutory interpretation because I quite like the Chief Minister's interpretation. It might not be completely right, but if that is what he says the government feels, if that is its intention, the opposition would certainly support those sentiments, even though we have some problems with what Ms Tucker is actually proposing.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause 124, as amended, agreed to.
Clauses 125 to 127, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (8.05): Mr Speaker, I regret that I did not take the opportunity earlier to table a revised supplementary explanatory memorandum dealing with the amendments that I have moved tonight. I do so now. Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move together amendments Nos 11 to 15 circulated in my name.