Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2123 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
enrolled nurses. The proposed amendment to clause 11A will ensure a consistency in this process for both registered and enrolled nurses. I move amendments Nos 1 and 2 circulated in my name.
Amendments agreed to.
Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.
Bill, as amended, agreed to.
Sitting suspended from 12.11 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
Statute of limitations
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, through you, my question is to the Chief Minister. Yesterday, Chief Minister, in question time you berated us with the following:
I believe the question that should be asked around Australia of me and my colleagues, and of all governments, is, "Don't you think you were just a touch hasty? Don't you think you have trammelled the rights a bit too much? Do you think it is really necessary to reduce the statute of limitations from 24 years to six years? Was it really appropriate that you do that?"
Chief Minister, in light of your announcement at lunchtime today that you will be reducing the statute of limitations from 24 years to 6 years, what has happened on your Road to Damascus that has brought about this change?
MR STANHOPE: I haven't been to Damascus, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth?
MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, yesterday you seemed to be against the concept of reducing the statute of limitations from 24 years to six years. What brought about this change of heart?
MR STANHOPE: It is not a change of heart at all. I asked the question because I was concerned that we had such a life-like opposition-there is no effective opposition in the ACT; there is a complete lack of quality or calibre on the opposition benches-that, in the two years we've been dealing with the issue of medical indemnity crisis and public liability insurance, I don't think I've had a single question from the opposition on the very real issue. There has been a complete lack of interest in the issue.
Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: under standing order 118 (b), the minister is not entitled to debate the subject. I didn't ask about the calibre of the opposition or what we had done; I asked him why he had changed his mind from his position yesterday to his position today.
MR SPEAKER: Come to the subject matter of the question.