Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1019 ..
Mr Smyth: I take point of order, Mr Speaker. The member must withdraw that.
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Cross, it is disorderly to imply that members are misleading the Assembly. If you wish to deal with that matter, you have to do it with a substantive motion. I would ask you to withdraw that.
MRS CROSS: I withdraw, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you.
MRS CROSS: One member of the opposition referred to the noises that would be made by a baby being breastfed or the burping that would necessary. Some of the noises in this Assembly during question time or a very lively debate would be louder than that.
Mrs Dunne referred to humiliation. It was embarrassing for Kirstie Marshall being put in that position. No-one in this chamber, not even Mrs Dunne, can say whether it was a stunt or not. You can speculate-and I am sure you do a lot of that-but only the mother and her child know what the need was at that time. My understanding from the research I have done is that Ms Marshall was put into a very awkward position. She had to feed the baby when she fed it. Those who judge her are out of order.
Mr Smyth: That is your view.
MRS CROSS: That is the information from the research I have done.
This is such a simple matter. I take the point that amendments to the standing orders would generally go to the Administration and Procedure Committee. I agree with that. This, however, is not an issue that needs to be researched. This is a very straightforward issue. The Discrimination Act in the ACT prohibits people from discriminating against a woman breastfeeding anywhere in the community. That is part of the law. Why should we in this chamber be beyond that law?
Mr Speaker, I have the utmost respect for you. I think that you conduct your role admirably. This is not a question about you and your judgment. This is simply a matter of bringing us into line with the community and the laws in the community. That is all this is about. This is no reflection on you.
This is a simple matter. It should not have to be debated. For members of this place to put themselves forward as being concerned about social equity and social issues and raise concerns about this is deplorable. I thank members for their support for my motion. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
Legal Affairs-Standing Committee
Scrutiny Report No 27
MR STEFANIAK(12.02): I seek leave to move a motion authorising the publication of Scrutiny Report No 27 of the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs.