Page 1442 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 April 2005

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reaffirm, however, that when services, representation and the facilities for involvement are axed, there will be no choice. Choice requires having options—and that is precisely what universal student unionism provides to students on Australian campuses and, importantly, on campuses here in the ACT.

Universal student unionism enables students to make choices affecting their engagement with their own student community. Anti student union legislation, as the Western Australian experience shows, is about denying this choice. It is about silencing the student voice, so frequently the bane of conservative governments yet so legitimate a voice. This is one that must be heard. As for Mr Mulcahy’s statement that I should talk to the students to get their views, I am happy to advise him that I do, regularly, and I am also very happy to advise the Assembly that it was the ACT students that helped me to construct this motion and that they support it wholeheartedly.

In relation to the opposition’s continued comments in this debate on human rights, we know their views on human rights. Mr Mulcahy, I understand, said yesterday, “A lot of revenue has been wasted on political self-indulgence such as human rights implementation.” Wasted—that is how they feel about human rights.

My motion asks members of the Assembly to hear the voice of students who study, live and work in the ACT. Support this motion and, in doing so, recognise the contribution of student organisations to the Canberra community. The principle of universal student unionism is a noble one and I urge members to support it and to support the motion I have moved today.

Motion agreed to.


MR PRATT (Brindabella) (3.59): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the community’s growing concern about ACT Policing and a commensurate loss of confidence in the Government to protect the community;

(b) that when the community is encouraged by the police to report crime “in progress” the community is let down by a failure by police to respond on time and/or follow up effectively due to a lack of Government support and resources;

(c) the community’s concern that there is a poor visible police presence in the community resulting in criminal and offensive behaviour occurring, often in broad daylight, with impunity; and

(d) the police’s lack of ability and confidence to tackle a number of complex situations because they are poorly resourced and because the ACT Government lacks the political will to be tough on crime; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

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