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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1005 ..

Mrs Burke

: Absolutely.

Mrs Cross

: Ms Tucker sat down and then I stood up, Mr Speaker.


: Thanks for your point of order, Mrs Cross, and your reference to the standing orders. Ms Tucker was about to seek leave to move her amendment. She has sought leave? Is leave granted?

Leave granted.


(11.00): Thank you. I move the following amendment circulated in my name:

Omit all words after "That", substitute the following words:

"application of SO 210 to a Member breastfeeding an infant be referred to the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure for consideration and report to the Assembly."

I have already spoken to that amendment, and I ask members to support it.


(11.01): I would like to speak substantially on the amendment and, in doing so, address the substantive motion. First of all, I would like to congratulate Mrs Cross for breaking her duck after six months on the cross benches and getting some business on the notice paper.

It is a shame that the first business that the new independent member for Molonglo brings on the notice paper is not about the residents of Molonglo but about us. It is an issue that is worth discussing, and I agree with Ms Tucker that it has to be discussed. But hang on-let's do a straw poll in here. Who is lactating at the moment? No-one is lactating at the moment, so there is no urgency that we debate this and decide on this today.

It is inappropriate for Mrs Cross' motion to attempt to circumvent the normal means of amending standing orders. It is great to see members of this place extolling the virtues of being a family friendly workplace. I think that is very important.

Mrs Cross has alluded to the fact that the opposition would not support her on this, but she has no evidence for that. What she has is the evidence of the Canberra Times article that sought the views of two individual members of the opposition who expressed some reservations. But I am prepared to go through the process of having a conversation about the best way to do this.

I think the Clerk and his staff and the Speaker and his office would have some input into addressing what might be an anomaly. Mrs Cross is correct to say that when the standing orders in the Victorian Parliament-which we emulate-and most other parliaments were written, it was not even considered that women become members and they often did not even have the right to vote.

It is time that we address this issue; it is time that we do all we can to lead by example by creating a family friendly environment where we work-which is what members of this

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