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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 883 ..

The point about having them dealt with together comes through a lot. In another letter, Mrs Audrey McEwan of Holder states:

I object strongly to the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2002 being progressed. There has been very little media coverage of the new proposals.

She has some concerns, too. Mr and Mrs Kelly, a couple from Duntroon, wrote:

We are appalled and object strongly to any notion that the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2002 may be progressed before the community has been adequately consulted.

Mrs Punch of Chapman in the ACT wrote:

It is really important for the whole community to have their say on this matter and I would object strongly to the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2002 being discussed or progressed before this happens.

Finally-I have a number of other letters; I am only reading out about five-Mrs Griffith of Queanbeyan wrote:

I strongly object to the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2002 being progressed before consideration of phase 2 by the community. Too many values are at stake. I hope that you will acknowledge the concerns of the wider community as you assess these changes that will affect more than the lives of a few.

These people-and I have read out only a handful of the letters I have received-quite clearly feel that they and the community need more opportunity to be consulted, and what better way of doing that than through an Assembly committee. This would give people a chance to be consulted so as to ensure that we come up with legislation that is entirely appropriate. When one thinks about it, it is quite obvious and quite logical that these people do not feel that there has been proper consultation. These are terribly important issues and the community has a right to be properly consulted. An Assembly committee would do that.

I can read numbers as well as anyone else and I can see the way the Assembly will vote on the motion. I know a lot of people here would simply love this legislation to go through now. Many people in this Assembly talk a lot about proper community consultation. Well, here is your chance to do a little bit to achieve that-by voting for this motion, which I would commend to the Assembly.

Question put:

That Mr Stefaniak's amendment be agreed to.

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