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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4246 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

gutless. You are so gutless that you actually attack those that are asked to do the consultations. Absolutely gutless.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mrs Dunne's supplementary question in no way impugns the stature of the four individuals that have been appointed. The question was: why were only those that are pro a bill of rights appointed to garner the community's opinion of the bill of rights? We have made no statements that the Chief Minister apportions to us. He should answer the question that was asked.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I think the Chief Minister is entitled to address the question in the way he desires but I would ask him to make sure that he confines his remarks to the substance of the matter.

MR STANHOPE: I have just about concluded, Mr Speaker. I think the point has been made. It is a pity that this should happen. The Liberal Party believe they don't have community support for a view that they have adopted, they know the position they have adopted is not a popular position, they know it is not supported by a majority of the people of Canberra and they are looking for some way of attacking a bill of rights. So what is the attack? The attack is on the process, the attack is on the deliberative poll.

I need to make the point that the deliberative poll is only a minor part of the consultation. Over 150 other submissions were received. Dozens of other community consultations were undertaken. The suggestion is: "Well, these people might have some personal private views about this,"and I have to say-

Mr Pratt: Well they are so obvious, though, Chief Minister, for God's sake!

MR STANHOPE: It is not so obvious.

Mr Pratt: They are so obvious. They are.

MR STANHOPE: It is not so obvious. I don't know what people think about it. I didn't know you supported a needle exchange program for all of our jails. I didn't know that-that is news to me. But it is so sad that, in order to attack the possibility or prospect of a bill of rights-something that now obviously has you just so wobbly at the knees-you feel the need to suggest that the incredibly significant consultative group that have come together to undertake this consultation cannot be trusted to be honest and objective.

Maternity leave for public servants

MS GALLAGHER: My question is for the Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Corbell. Can the minister please advise the Assembly of the ACT government's moves to enhance maternity leave benefits for all ACT public servants?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I am delighted to advise members of the Assembly that the Stanhope Labor government is moving to increase the period of time available for paid maternity leave for ACT public servants from 12 to 14 weeks.

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