Page 1924 - Week 06 - Thursday, 5 May 2005

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every ACT resident. For example, as you know, Mr Speaker, during the last sitting weeks the government introduced to the Assembly legislation that will establish a new Human Rights Commission. The purpose is to draw together the Human Rights Office and the Community and Health Services Complaints Commission into a single office where concerns about health and disability services, community services and services for older people and discrimination can be addressed by a single entity.

Yet still we have the gainsayers from the other side denying any benefit; even more than that, actually saying this government’s leadership in introducing human rights is a frivolous waste of time and money. However, this, of course, is only when it suits them politically. Indeed, when speaking in this place on 5 April, Mr Mulcahy said:

A lot of revenue has been wasted on political self-indulgence such as human rights legislation.

He said it again yesterday morning at the budget breakfast. Yet, when speaking against the motion moved by my colleague Mr Gentleman in relation to voluntary student unionism on the following day, Mr Mulcahy called upon the ACT to recognise the importance of the Human Rights Act. It would appear that, as usual, those on the other side of this house are very selective when it comes to determining their support or otherwise for initiatives of this government.

Finally, I would echo the Chief Minister’s words recently when he said:

The ACT government is proud to have led the way on protecting human rights in Australia. I look forward to the day when this country has a national bill of rights but in the meantime am pleased to see that other states are considering state-based codes.


MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (6.03): Mr Speaker, I had the privilege of attending recently the launch of a new season of junior soccer here in Canberra. I note there were a number of members from this place at the launch that day, and I guess that reflects the great interest in what is considered the world game, both here in Canberra and around the world. Indeed, it reflects the growing support for football here in Australia.

Football is one of the most popular games in Canberra, certainly in terms of the levels of junior participation. Many young, budding Harry Kewells and David Beckhams can be found on the playing fields of Canberra every Saturday, hoping that their local oval can become their own field of dreams. My goodness, who wrote that?

My son actually started soccer, incidentally, just on Saturday. It was wonderful to see. He did a fantastic job just having a go; I think he got a couple of kicks. But it is good fun and it brings a lot of kids and parents together on most Saturdays in Canberra.

I would like to note the steps that the body formerly known as Soccer Canberra has taken in changing its name to Capital Football, in line with the move by Soccer Australia to become the Football Federation of Australia. Capital Football incorporates not only junior football in the ACT but also the senior men’s and women’s competition, and they do a great job in the administration of football in the ACT.

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