Page 875 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2005

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government; we should say, irrespective of what we think about industrial manslaughter law, “We will oppose your intervention in our affairs; we will not accept the meddling by you in our affairs.”

This is not only my view. I read, just last week, in a very significant and learned journal in circulation within the ACT, the City News, that a former President of the Senate, Margaret Reid, when talking about a conference that she is currently attending on federation, I think somewhere in Europe, said that one of the things she stood for, as President of the Senate and as a senator for the ACT over a couple of decades, was:

I always stood against the right of the Commonwealth to override legislation in the ACT and the Northern Territory.

Good on you ex-Senator Reid! Good on you for showing some courage! I am also joined in this sentiment, along with ex-Senator Reid, by former Chief Minister Kate Carnell who, on an ABC Stateline program, said:

This is not about politics. This is about democracy.

This was in relation to the gay and lesbian anti-discrimination law. This is what Kate Carnell, former Chief Minister of the ACT, said:

This is not about politics. This is about democracy. The ACT has Self-Government. That means we hold the Government responsible for what they do. If we don’t like it, we get rid of them. That’s what democracy is all about. We’ve got Self-Government here.

Senator Humphries is very much on the record in the past. We will see whether Senator Humphries can maintain the standards of ex-Senator Reid in relation to opposing interference in the affairs of the ACT.

The shadow Attorney-General is on the record explicitly in relation to the power of the commonwealth to intervene in the democratic affairs of the territories. Mr Stefaniak, in this place in 2000, was blunt and to the point:

… this parliament, small though it may be, has the right to make laws for the benefit of its citizens without the Commonwealth overriding them.

Good on you, Mr Stefaniak. Stick to your guns. You have got some work to do with your colleagues. Put aside your ideological opposition to industrial manslaughter legislation; acknowledge that it is an expression of the will of the people of Canberra, expressed through the democratic processes of this parliament; oppose what your federal colleagues are doing, intervening and meddling in the affairs of this parliament and this community.

Building and construction industry

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. I refer to reports that new measures have been introduced nationally that are designed to crack down on corrupt practices in the building and construction industry as a consequence of the Cole royal commission recommendations. Do the minister and the ACT government

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