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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4355 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

The third paragraph of my motion, which Labor also proposes to remove by its amendment, calls for support of the Refugee Council of Australia initiative of refugee welcome zones. I am very disappointed that this has not received support from the Assembly tonight. As I pointed out, it is funded by the federal government. The Liberal Party says it is doing such a great job, so I am surprised that they would not support that.

I will not be supporting Ms Gallagher's amendment.

Question put:

That Ms Gallagher 's amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-

 	Ayes, 8  				Noes, 7

 Mr Berry  	Ms MacDonald  	Ms Dundas  	Mr Stefaniak
 Mr Corbell  	Mr Quinlan  	Mrs Dunne  	Ms Tucker
 Mrs Cross  	Mr Stanhope  	Mr Humphries   
 Ms Gallagher       		Mr Pratt  
 Mr Hargreaves    		Mr Smyth  
Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment agreed to.

MR PRATT (11.19): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move the amendment circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

MR PRATT: I move:

Paragraph (1), omit the words "requesting it to urgently", substitute "encourage it to continually".

I seek to amend the motion to encourage the federal government to continually upgrade and review its procedures. I think the federal government is doing as well as it can with a very tough exercise. It is a tough challenge. The words of the motion "requesting it to urgently review", to me, indicate that the federal government is doing nothing about the refugee, illegal boat people and asylum seeker issue. We believe they are doing the best they can, but of course there is always room for improvement. As times change and circumstances change, everything should be reviewed. It would be right and proper to upgrade procedures. It would make sense to continue to focus on children in detention.

We will always want to see the systems and procedures reviewed and upgraded. But to say that this ought to be done urgently would imply that nothing is being done. Nothing could be further from the truth. The federal government is managing this problem the best it can under very trying circumstances.

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