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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1025 ..



would flow together. They both refer to page 3, line 12, as does Mr Stanhope's amendment.

Virtually all of the amendments from here on are very similar. We have some sympathy for the way the government has done its amendment, and we will be supporting it. We think it is a preferable way of doing it. The Attorney has espoused why that is so. We would have problems with Ms Dundas's amendment.

The courts are very experienced in these things. The list is very similar to what Ms Dundas proposes. I note that she is not going to be terribly concerned if the government amendment gets up. The example of indicators is quite sensible in seeing whether there is a bona fide domestic relationship or partnership between two people.

My colleague Mrs Burke will be moving and amendment to Mr Stanhope's amendment. Having indicated which amendments we will be supporting, I think it is appropriate that I let Mrs Burke move he amendment now so we can debate it concurrently.


(12.22): Mr Speaker, I move amendment circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 1083]. I move this amendment for the purposes of consistency throughout the document.


(12.23): I will speak to Mr Stanhope's amendment while he is considering Mrs Burke's amendment.

I am supportive of having a list. I think that is very important to help guide interpretation of this act. The factors in the list make sense to me. There is obviously no disagreement between Ms Dundas and the government except on where the indicators are located. I understand the arguments from Ms Dundas. I am happy to support what she is doing, but I am also happy to support what the government is doing. As I understand it, the government's amendment will be successful. I think that will be a good outcome.

Mrs Burke seeks to add "whether they are legally married". I did not hear her put an argument about why those words have to be inserted. I am sure members would give her leave to put one.

Mrs Burke

: I just like consistency.


: I do not understand what you mean by consistency. I think it is covered within the criteria that are listed. I do not understand the argument. You may need to elaborate.


(Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for the Environment) (12.25): Mr Speaker, the government will not be supporting Mrs Burke's amendment. The advice I have from my department, which I accept, is that the amendment does not add anything and potentially will confuse the legislation. I understand what Mrs Burke is seeking to achieve. She wishes to add a further category-"whether they are legally married"-to a definition.

A married person that is a spouse is already specifically included within the definition of domestic partner with a specific reference to spouse. The definition says:

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