Page 3734 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 18 October 2005
street and be picked up and not told where they are going, what they are there for. They would have no access to the normal rights and privileges that we enjoy here today.
Mr Stanhope is the only one who would not allow our rights and privileges to be purloined by stealth. He was not going to allow this Prime Minister to decide, unilaterally, whether or not we were going to enjoy ordinary human rights, civil rights, freedom of expression. He was not going to allow that to happen. I can just see it now: Canberrans walking down the street—too bad if you are a follower of Islam; that is a good reason to pick you up, put you in the back of a car and say, “You cannot even tell your relatives, because if you do they’ll join you.” I really fear for this. Some people barrack for Collingwood; they could end up in jail for that. That was a throwaway line and a bit of a joke, and so too is this legislation.
Mr Pratt interjecting—
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Stanhope has said that he will not sit in a room with those people—
Mr Pratt interjecting—
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Pratt, will you give it a rest, please!
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Stanhope has said that he was not going to sit in a room with eight other individuals and adjudicate on the abrogation of our rights without at least giving people a look at them and an opportunity to convey to him what they felt about them. He felt an obligation to the people of the ACT—greater than he did to George Bush, chief lickspittle. He felt a greater obligation to our rights than he did to the Prime Minister, who did not have any undertaking of cabinet-in-confidence. Every single document like that has “draft” and “cabinet-in-confidence” on it; it is a draft.
I do not expect to know what skulduggery is cooked up within the context of the federal cabinet; I very rarely find out until it is too late. Such would have been the case here if it had not been for the Chief Minister of this territory. We would have all found out when it was too late—and what could we do about it then? Not much. What has happened since then? We had that well-known redneck socialist Piers Akerman saying, of course, that the Chief Minister is wrong, but every other sensible journalist on the national stage was saying, “Good on you, Jon Stanhope.” Ordinary people in the streets have been moved to contact Jon Stanhope and tell him he is doing the right thing. By far and away the vast majority of people are doing it; we are talking almost 100 per cent. Dignitaries and respected eminent people in this country have contacted the Chief Minister to tell him he is right.
This bunch of lickspittles across the other side of this chamber have decided to take the side of John Howard, who would deny us knowledge of the withdrawal of our rights. Those opposite have pinned themselves to the apron of this man of such small international stature, and they are backing him; they are backing John Howard. I hope that the Fourth Estate records the fact that this parliament has on its opposition benches people who would legislate away the rights of people—merely for what they are