Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3589 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
banned. The committee came very close to doing that, but what the committee's report did was to allow the industry just one more chance to make things work.
Some time has elapsed. That committee report was brought in on time in June last year. We have had another fireworks season. We seem to continue to have fireworks seasons throughout Canberra. I heard more fireworks going off over this weekend. In fact, over the last 12 months in my suburb of Macgregor I have heard more fireworks than ever before. On several occasions my dog has come in quite scared, and he has never been particularly worried before. I think that indicates an increase in the number of people, illegally, getting and letting off fireworks. There is obviously a similar situation in other suburbs in Canberra as I constantly hear comments in the community. I was at a football match and the referee, who lived in Rivett, asked whether I had a petition in my boot that he could sign-he had heard that there were petitions about-but unfortunately I did not have one. He complained to me, as did his wife, about the problems they were experiencing in Rivett and made the comment that it was about the worst it had ever been.
There does come a time when we need to draw a line in the sand and say, "Enough is enough."I think we have been very tolerant for a long time. I had no problem with that; I enjoy fireworks and always have. No other state or territory allows over-the-counter sales of fireworks. We have tried to be reasonable and find compromises: my colleague Mr Smyth tried when he was minister; the current minister has tried. But there does come a time when we have to admit that it is not working. If anything, it seems to be getting worse. Accordingly, I think Mr Pratt's bill is timely and worthy of support. It is a sad day in many ways; we recognise that.
MR HARGREAVES (11.30): Having heard two other members of the committee say something, I am tempted to speak and am going to succumb to that temptation-very briefly; I am not going to use my 13 or 15 minutes or whatever is left. I am a bit surprised at the hypocrisy of Ms Tucker in supporting this bill, given that it was she-and she alone-who prevented the committee from recommending a total ban in the first place. I am absolutely staggered by her hypocrisy and to hear the Greens, after a standing committee has put down its deliberations, suffering from solipsism. For those people who do not know what solipsism is, it is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, the view that the self is the only knowledgeable thing, the only existing thing, the sole repository of knowledge. Well, we have just seen an attempt by the Greens to govern this town after an Assembly committee has made its report. How appalling is that? Talk about a disproportionate distribution of power in this place! It makes me sick to the stomach on an issue like this.
I also have to say that I am surprised to see such pontification from a man on the benches opposite who was prepared to have explosives sitting in his own office. A roman candle is not, as it used to be, something you can hold out and it goes bang, with flashing lights in the sky. No, no, no. It is quite at home in the fields of Afghanistan and in the sands of Iraq, as our beloved shadow minister would know. But what on earth was he doing with a box full of roman candles in his office? Perhaps he mistook them for a roman holiday. Well, it was not a roman holiday, Mr Pratt, and I am very glad that any explosions that might have happened then would have happened in the west wing-and it would have been yet another explosive West Wing episode.