Page 4559 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 23 November 2005

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telling Singapore that the life of an Australian is more valuable than the life of a non-Australian. That is why Mr Stanhope and I were critical of the Prime Minister, not, as suggested by the opposition, just for the sake of being critical or to score cheap political points.

That said, I am pleased that there is bipartisan support in this place against the use of the death penalty in any circumstance, and we have all recorded our support for Van. As all members officially recorded their support of my motion, I can only assume that there will not be any selective opposition in this place, only complete principled opposition. In light of that, I would like to inform all members that a vigil involving the lighting of 3,000 candles of hope for Van will be held at Federation Mall next Wednesday, 30 November.

Amnesty International is currently organising some speakers for the event and at this stage expects the formal part of the evening to begin at 7.00 pm, with the lighting of the candles to commence at approximately 7.30 pm. This will be a very sombre, dignified and moving event and the candles will be arranged in the shape of the amnesty logo. I urge all members to attend this event and encourage their staff, if possible, to help set up prior to the event and clean up after the event.

We may feel helpless sometimes but this is a practical way we can help Amnesty International, which in turn will help Van Nguyen. Bede Carmody from Amnesty International sent out an email today with the details. If anybody requires further information, they can contact my office.

Intergovernmental relations

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.05): Mr Speaker, without reflecting on the vote this morning, I would like to go back to some of the issues raised by Mr Mulcahy and touch on some of the issues that I would have liked to have raised, but there was a move to gag and Mr Mulcahy decided that discretion was the better part of valour.

The histrionics of this morning and the behaviour of the Chief Minister say something about him, I am not quite sure what, apart from the fact he is very thin skinned and does not respond very well to any sort of criticism. I need to put a couple of issues on the record. Mr Mulcahy spoke this morning, quite rightly, about the failure of this government to engage cooperatively with the federal government on a range of issues, to the detriment of the people of the ACT.

I would like to touch on the national training agreement that this government was brought kicking and screaming to sign several years late. This government would not sign up to he last national training agreement and there was no increase in funds, except CPI, which robbed young people in the ACT of training places. On a number of occasions in this place and elsewhere in the run-up to the signing of the national training agreement in about September the minister for training spent a lot of time bagging the commonwealth.

That is the standard approach in everything that this government does. When it comes to signing up to commonwealth-state agreements, the government spends a whole lot of time bagging the commonwealth, instead on attempting to get a better deal for the ACT.

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