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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2464 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

Mr Speaker, I think that Minister Ruddock is doing as well as he possibly can with what is a complicated and an emotionally charged issue. I think that this country can be rather proud of its generous assistance. If you just look at the raw statistics and take away the politics and the emotions of the debates that we tend to have, you will see that we are quite generous. We must continue to be that way. As I say, I would like to see us double our refugee case load. I am sure that we could do a lot more with the Vietnamese case load that is currently stuck in limbo in the Philippines.

Mr Speaker, I would like to ask why there wasn't a statement written into this motion condemning the Vietnamese government for the way that it has treated these people. In fact, such condemnation underwriting this motion would give it more power and perhaps provide a stronger case to the federal government in highlighting the plight of this case load. Mr Speaker, I do wish those who are working to get movement on this case load all the best. (Extension of time granted.) As an old soldier who has commanded Vietnam veterans, I know how many veterans who are working in this country now are seeking to settle Vietnamese immigrants into this country and seeking to have family reunifications undertaken. There is a strong bonding, in fact, between those fellows who did fight in that land and the people who have migrated from that land to this country. I congratulate those people as well on their very worthwhile efforts in a very important area.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity, I congratulate Ms MacDonald on putting this motion on the table and I do wish those who are working with the Vietnamese case load in the Philippines all the best and good luck in trying to sort out this mess.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour this day.

Sitting suspended from 12.28 to 2.30 pm.

Ministerial arrangements


(Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minster for the Environment): For the information of members, my colleague Mr Wood is absent for the day. I am happy to take questions that might be directed to Mr Wood.

Questions without notice

Land sales


: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Planning, Mr Corbell. I refer to the government land auction conducted by the Gungahlin Development Authority on 11 June, when 500 blocks known as Harrison 1 estate were sold. The conditions of sale drawn up by the authority and circulated to all bidders refer to the payment of a deposit:

The Successful Bidder must pay a deposit equal to 10% of the full amount bid at the time of the auction ...

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