Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1015 ..
Mr Stanhope: I withdraw the suggestion that the Leader of the Opposition misled the house. But I did not misrepresent the position of the Greens or the Democrats. I simply asked a rhetorical question.
MR SPEAKER: You do not have a point of order.
MR SMYTH: Clearly, Mr Stanhope's amendment would indicate that this is a poorly thought out motion. He has brought to the attention of the house some of the difficulties that others have picked up.
I agree with Ms Tucker. What is your definition of an infant? I have just been speaking to a gentleman whose wife is about to wean their infant at 12 months. Do you limit it to six months? I have a friend who fed her child until the child was five years old. Is "a feeding child"unacceptable? That is the dilemma. As Mr Cornwell asked, do you, Mr Speaker, eject a crying baby from the house?
There are some operational issues that need to be thought out. I think the points that have been put forward are reasonable and valid and should be taken into consideration so that we get it right, so that we do not mismanage it and make a mockery of what people are trying to achieve.
The motion and the press release that said "ACT Breastfeeding motion to lead the world in reform"are more about trying to be relevant than trying to improve things. Norway put this reform in about 20 years ago. I understand that Sweden and several other jurisdictions have also done so. Neither is it world-breaking, nor is it reform. It is certainly a progression. We should look at it, and if it can be accommodated then it should be accommodated. Ms Tucker's proposal is a far wiser way of doing it than a motion that is clearly flawed, as evidenced by the Chief Minister's amendment.
MRS DUNNE(11.43): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again.
MRS DUNNE: I need to clarify something I said. Ms MacDonald rightly pointed out that I said that there is no place for this discussion here. What I should have said, more accurately, was that the Administration and Procedure Committee is the place to have the detailed discussion. I understand that the Clerk has some suggestions about how we might approach this. We now have an amendment to the motion.
Let us work it out in a cool, calm way and discuss the best way to do it. The Speaker of the Victorian parliament has approached it in one way. That might be a solution here. We may not need to amend the standing orders. As Ms Dundas has said, we might look at other issues relating to breastfeeding in this building, not just in the chamber.
That Ms Tucker's amendment be agreed to.