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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3897 ..

MS MacDONALD (continuing):

a number of different ways of increasing fitness. And that is a turn-off; it was a turn-off for me. It was not until I got to adulthood that I discovered that I do enjoy certain things. I enjoy going out for a walk and, at a later stage of my life, I have come to enjoy team sport. But when I was at school the choices were limited to competitive sport, and I have to say that I was never a fan of tunnel ball. Because I have two left feet, I was always one of those kids who were last to get chosen for a team.

I still have two left feet but that does not stop me from participating in a social and enjoyable atmosphere. I am big enough and ugly enough to give as good as I get from people who give me a bit of stick about having two left feet and no hand/eye coordination. I have to say that racquet sports are not my thing. To the end of my life I think I will have an absolute antagonistic attitude to tennis because of my experiences when I was a child.

Mr Pratt also said that school should be about teaching kids how to live your life. I do not agree with that. I think that is patronising. School is about guidance and advice, it is not about dictates. We have to give guidance to our young people-we have to do this right throughout people's lives-about the options they can take. It is not about forcing people into something, and I believe that Ms Tucker covered that fairly well.

Mr Speaker, I would like to close by saying thank you to all members. As I have already done several times now, I also thank Fitness ACT for the work that they have done. I commend the motion.

Motion agreed to.

Responsible and accountable governance

MS TUCKER (11.26): I move:

That this Assembly:

  1. supports the role of the Senate as an essential check on the power and the Executive of the Federal Government and as a mechanism for ensuring responsible and accountable government;
  2. rejects the proposal of the Prime Minister to change the constitution so as to enable a joint session of both Houses of the Federal Parliament without first requiring a double dissolution election;

(3) calls on the Chief Minister to write to the Prime Minister expressing grave concern about the proposal and calling on him to withdraw his proposal; and

(4) affirms the role of proportional representation as an electoral system which, through awarding representatives in proportion to shares of votes, ensures a democratic legislature.

I am raising this matter today because I believe it is essential that state and territory legislatures involve themselves in the discussion about proposed changes to the Senate. John Howard has put forward what he calls a modest proposal to reform the Senate, but it is not a modest proposal. It is a very serious threat to democracy in this country.

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