Page 3733 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

all states and territories. Let us face it: they need not have done that. They have a majority government, just like in here. They could have railroaded it, just like this government does. But, no, what did the Prime Minister do? As a courtesy, he extended an in-confidence meeting to everybody. And what did our Chief Minister do? The Lone Ranger went and sprayed this important and sensitive information all over the place—a despicable act.

If the Chief Minister feels that any new anti-terrorism laws are creating a level of discomfort to anyone in the ACT of any background or faith beliefs, it would be enlightening for him to provide such evidence and have the Assembly debate local issues on their merits. I for one have seen no evidence of any anxiety or discomfort within the Canberra community. For the Chief Minister to suggest any clear association or connection of terrorism with any specific group within our community is just blatant scaremongering—scaremongering at its very worst—and the construction of hype to garner support from certain sectors to aid in promoting a shallow and unwarranted political campaign of social alienation.

I am surprised at Mr Corbell’s interjections. Something like the Anti-terrorism Bill 2005 is marked “draft-in-confidence”. Was that released in cabinet? I hope that Mr Stanhope has shown the way and that now we are going to see everything that his government will do hereon. That sounds fair to me. As everything that is marked “draft-in-confidence” has no meaning to it, we can all see what you are going to talk about; you will not just slap things on the table in this Assembly and hurtle it through, which is what you blame the federal government for doing when in fact they do not. It is quite rude of the Chief Minister to act in the way that he has, with total disregard for any of his colleagues for a start and for everyone else in this Assembly; it is shameful.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.59): Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mrs Burke on her new job. It is obvious that the power of that job and the emotion that goes with it has just found expression in this place. There was certainly not a lot of commonsense in what she said, or a lot of substance. But there were a lot of clichés and a lot of really powerful words like “rude”. Unfortunately, Hansard does not record the volume or the intensity, merely the word.

I suggest that Mrs Burke read Hansard and she will realise that she made a couple of errors of fact. One that just springs to mind was when she said that the federal government can just railroad legislation through; that, because they have got majority government, they can do whatever they like. But they cannot. If Mrs Burke had been listening, she would have heard the Chief Minister say that we are talking about referred powers. In fact, it requires the states to, as it were, surrender their power to the Commonwealth.

What the Chief Minister said was that the information given to him at that particular meeting of first ministers was vague. He was asked to sign off on something that was vague. When he saw the detail, a chill went up his spine. He thought, I am sure, of things like that holiday paradise camp at Nauru. He saw us expanding the Baxter detention centre. He saw Australians being kidnapped and taken to places like Guantanamo Bay, but this time they would not need to be kidnapped from a third country; they could be kidnapped from here. He saw that an ordinary Canberran could be walking down the

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .