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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3910 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

It is not a fait accompli, yet the motion that we have before us would suggest that it is. These distinguished men will look at the matters that come before them, the submissions that are put before them, and they will bring down, no doubt, a sensible report. Ms Tucker does not want that. Ms Tucker does not want the democratic process that she spoke of so often in her speech. She does not want the democratic process to come forward. No, she wants us to blindly accept the views that she is putting forward without any opportunity to consult with anybody in this community, far less to sit down and read "Resolving Deadlocks", the paper that has been put out by the Prime Minister's consultative group on constitutional change.

This great exponent of consultation is now acting like some sort of environmental commissar in demanding that we should blindly follow her views. As far as this side of the house is concerned, we are not prepared to do that. I find it interesting, as I say, that the person who purports to talk of consultative process has obviously been revealed to be very selective in what she believes people should be consulted about. I have moved the amendment standing in my name because I believe that that is the democratic and fairest way to address this issue, if the Assembly wishes to address it at all.

MS TUCKER (12.13): I wish to speak to the amendment. I will not be supporting the amendment, but I wish to respond to some of Mr Cornwell's arguments. Mostly, they seemed to be fairly personal. I do not know why he thinks that that was necessary. The actual argument that he put, as I understood it, was that this motion was disrespectful of the consultative process that the federal government is undertaking.

As I have explained, I was present at the ACT meeting last night. I am well aware of that process. I have also read the document, although it has not been made easily understood to members of the community how to get that document. I am assuming that Mr Cornwell and other interested people here would have read it if they had wanted to. I would not have thought that I needed to tell them to do that.

The main thrust of Mr Cornwell's amendment and the argument for it seemed to be that it is not appropriate for this Assembly to take a position on the proposed so-called reforms of the Senate. Somehow it is just about what I want and I want people to blindly accept what I want. I do not think that that is what happens in this place. People actually listen to the debate and have their views on the issues that we are debating. Just as Mr Cornwell is free not to accept my proposal today, other people are free to accept it. Obviously, that is always what happens in a debate in this place.

Mr Cornwell feels that there was no notice given of this motion. It has been on the notice paper for months and I know that it was identified in government business as work we would be doing this week. There may be some communications problems within the Liberal Party if Mr Cornwell was not aware of it. It is also clearly not a new issue. Public commentary on it has been going on for months as well. I think that that is not a particularly reasonable objection to my bringing on this motion.

In terms of members being able to contact the consultative committee, of course they are free to do that. You do not need an Assembly motion calling on members to have input to that consultative committee if they want. Mr Cornwell also said that it was an independent committee. As I have already explained, the facilitator last night did indicate

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