Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3591 ..
Ms Gallagher: No, it's not.
MR SMYTH: The minister says, "No, it's not."The minister now says-
Ms Gallagher: But he should have.
MR SPEAKER: Conversations across the floor are disorderly. Just direct your comments through the chair and members will cease their interjections.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, the minister just interjected-and I will take the interjection-that she now knows that he was not obliged to but that he should have done it anyway. Has Mr Hargreaves reported to WorkCover every illegal firework that he has heard go off in the Tuggeranong Valley? I think not. This double standard, this weak defence from the government, trying to defend the indefensible, is what we have seen through the debates this week.
Mr Pratt did the right thing. Mr Pratt notified parents in the community, to whom he is responsible, of what was going on in their area and what they should be aware may be lying around in their neighbourhood. Mr Pratt did the right thing by telling the community about the inactivity of this government over this issue despite the promises made by Mr Hargreaves in the lead-up to the last election.
Every year over the last five years we have considerably tightened the way the fireworks industry works and yet these incidents continue. Nobody wants to ban things. Banning things is something we should avoid until we get to the stage where, because there has been no response, it is the sensible and reasonable thing to do. And the sensible and reasonable thing for all members to do today would be to support this bill.
MRS DUNNE (11.38): We have had yet another backflip from Mr Hargreaves. As someone who has broken his leg, he is pretty athletic really. He has tried to defend the indefensible despite his own publicly stated views about fireworks. This debate has brought forward some very interesting concepts-apart from Mr Hargreaves' big word for the day, solipsism, which I think he has got wrong. My understanding of the word "solipsism"is that it is a belief that only the self is knowable, not that one is the source of all knowledge. So, Mr Hargreaves, you had better make sure that you have not misled the Assembly. Members of the government have been trying to defend the indefensible. Their track record on this is one of flip-flopping around and backflipping.
It is a strange sort of debate that we have had here today. The Democrats talked about a harm minimisation approach to fireworks, which made my mind reel and made my office wonder and speculate about whether a harm minimisation approach to fireworks meant that addicts could go to a safe exploding room to let off their roman candles! The quality of the debate in here in defence of the indefensible is very low. It is time that the members of this place took a good hard look at themselves and, in accord with the overwhelming views of the community, supported Mr Pratt's legislation.
MRS CROSS (11.39): I will not be supporting this bill. I have been fairly consistent on this matter since I was elected into this place. I instigated the referral of this matter to the committee, which looked into it and came up with what I thought was a very reasonable outcome: to regulate, and if the legislation needed amending so be it. I believe that that is