Page 4495 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 23 November 2005

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position they have put. That is not appropriate for a head of government. We know that neither Mr Smyth nor Mr Mulcahy, whoever will be the next leader of the Liberal Party, has the capacity or the strength to take the argument, to stand the argument or indeed to stand up. And that is what this is about.

What the Liberal Party are saying today is that they do not want an ACT government or a head of government in the ACT to stand up and express a firmly held position of principle or to express firmly on behalf of an ACT government or the people of the ACT a firmly held policy position. What the Liberal Party think is that you should simply bend over, that you should wobble at the knees, that you should simply give up in the face of a federal government, because the federal government is bigger, has influence and might seek to punish you in some way; so, for goodness sake, do not upset them; do not argue with them; do not put your own point of view; do not express a principle; for goodness sake, do not stand up in the face of the commonwealth government; they might punish you.

You are better off to go quietly, scuttle around; you do not have to stand up for principles; do not worry about your own policy position; do not worry about the people of the ACT; do whatever the NCA says. If the NCA says it is a good planning position or principle, do what the NCA says.

If the commonwealth presents legislation to you which includes a provision to shoot to kill on sight, accept it; do not worry about it. If the legislation says you can be shot on sight and shot to death, accept it; do not argue about it; do not say, “Is this good policy? Should we have shoot-to-kill provisions in legislation?” The Liberals say, “Why, for goodness sake, would you argue about that? You might upset Philip Ruddock. Let the AFP come into Canberra and shoot people to death; let them shoot you to death, who cares; but do not upset Philip Ruddock; they might punish us; do not stand up for principle; do not say there is a better way; do not argue for more civil liberties or human rights compliant legislation; do not worry about preventatively detaining people without the right to contact a lawyer; do not worry about the fact that you are locking up for 14 days people that you are not prepared to charge, without access to anybody in the outside world, without a right appeal. Who cares?”

The Prime Minister wants to lock people up without a right of appeal, without right of access to a lawyer. But we do not want to upset the Prime Minister; so do not stand up for your position of principle; bail in, bail out. Where is the position of principle? What is the policy position? What is in the interests of the people of the ACT? “Do not worry about those things because John Howard is the Prime Minister, and you should not stand up to the Prime Minister; you should not stand up and say, ‘I am sorry but I think there is a better way. I think it is appropriate that we not run around shooting people and killing them. I think it is appropriate that, when we move to preventively detain somebody without charge, they have right of access to a lawyer; that they have a right to appeal against their detention; that there should be appropriate judicial oversight’.”

Mr Pratt: Who cares about community support?

MR STANHOPE: Mr Pratt says, “Who cares?” It is interesting that it is Mr Pratt that interjects, “Who cares?”—somebody who was preventively detained in Serbia and screamed like a stuck pig when he did not have access to his lawyer. It was an

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