Page 541 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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I am not saying the treatment of these people is malicious; I am just saying it is a comedy of errors—it is tragedy of errors—which needs to be addressed and should never be repeated in this territory.

Aboriginal tent embassy

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (6.27): I just refer to an article that was in the Canberra Times today, a discussion over the future of the tent embassy. It is very pleasing to see that new federal territories minister, Jim Lloyd, is about to begin a two-month consultation process. I also note that Senator Humphries is calling for all Canberrans to tell him what they think ought to happen with the embassy as well.

It is interesting to note the Chief Minister’s comments that he is indeed supporting Senator Humphries’s call for comments, but I am bemused by the next bit. He has accused the senator of push-polling that would lead to a distorted outcome. That is quite interesting, I think, given that the Chief Minister has now positioned himself somewhere in the middle. He is quite happy to continue to play wedge politics. It is very much like the issue with Pierces Creek; it is quite a parallel and you can see what is happening here. The Chief Minister is using the NCA and the commonwealth government as some way out for him to not go ahead and do what he knows he has been able to do for nearly two years now.

So I think it is quite disappointing that the Chief Minster, in some twisted way, does not want to see an outcome because he is able to use this. I want to know when the Chief Minister is going to actually meet with—

Mr Hargreaves: You guys have got Iron Bar.

MRS BURKE: Are you going to help him, Mr Hargreaves? You two seem to have a great double-act there.

Mr Hargreaves: We’ve got a better record than you have. Where were you when the fence went up?

MRS BURKE: You go and talk to the territories minister and minister for indigenous affairs.

Mr Hargreaves: You were hiding behind a bush, that’s where you were. I took your mate Wilson on and he threatened me with jail Where were you? Defending the indigenous people? You were nowhere to be seen.

MRS BURKE: You can do that, Mr Hargreaves; you can go and do that. It’s nearly teatime.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, order, please!

MRS BURKE: When is the Chief Minister going to meet with the territories minister to discuss his plans and ideas? I would like to know what the Chief Minister’s plans and ideas are. Sooner or later he is going to have to stand up in this place and tell us. We

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