Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4298 ..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

I note the letter I received-as did all other MLAs-from the Place Names Committee and signed off by Professor Ken Taylor. In it he draws to the attention of members the issues the committee that actually decides on these names has with the proposal put forward by Ms Dundas.

The letter points out that the "inference on the working of the committee is unfortunate and misinformed"and goes on to talk about the three external female members-and two males-appointed by the minister and how they take their duties seriously and endeavour to ensure that a range of people, including females, are included in the naming process.

It says that, after Ms Dundas' comments, there was a proposal to add to the theme of industrialists' names for Gungahlin. Professor Taylor suggests that the reference for who could have a street named after them be extended. He said that this was a sign of good faith and of how the committee like to operate.

The committee also feel that the reference to female names is inappropriate and unnecessary and that the act and the way we operate encourages diversity. We have got to place some trust in the committee that is appointed to look after the naming of these streets. I draw that to the attention of members.

MRS DUNNE (7.42): I would like to take a few selective quotes from ACT Labor's Plan for Women. It says Labor's agenda includes "support of the choices that women want to make in their lives"and "action to ensure that women can make an equal contribution in public life". This is the agenda that the Stanhope Labor government will implement for the benefit of all women in the Canberra community.

Further on, the topic "equal contribution in public life"starts, "Labor has always encouraged women to participate fully in public life."Yes, they can participate, but be blowed if we will name anything after them.

It is an unbelievable time to hear the Labor Party, hand on heart, saying, "We couldn't possibly support this."You must be absolutely embarrassed to be rolled by your party room, to come in here, to find a piece of legislation as laudable, straightforward and uncomplicated as this and to come forward with this complicated sophistry about why you cannot support it.

This is a disgrace. It is a black day for the Labor Party, as a party that purports to support the rights of women-"You can participate all you like but, if you're dead, we won't name anything after you."This is what this Labor Party has come to.

Ms Dundas brings forward a simple, straightforward piece of legislation, which does not impose any onerous task on the Place Names Committee.

Mr Hargreaves: You named yourself for the Senate.

MRS DUNNE: I am not interested in going to the Senate.

Mr Hargreaves: Thank God for that! On behalf of the rest of Australia, I thank you.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .