Page 323 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 7 March 2006

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Tuesday, 7 March 2006

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional owners, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mrs Burke) agreed to:

That leave of absence from 6 March to 19 March 2006 inclusive be given to Mr Seselja.

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee

Report 3

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (10.31): Pursuant to order, I present the following report:

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee—Report 3—Report on Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Bill 2005—exposure draft, dated 24 February 2006, including additional and dissenting comments (Mr Stefaniak, Ms MacDonald, Dr Foskey), together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge all the people who put in submissions. There were about 20 submissions in all and a number of people appeared before the committee. The inquiry was conducted largely over the Christmas/new year break and hearings were also held in January. Many people put in a lot of work at fairly short notice. Because of the importance of the legislation and the importance of the issue facing not only this jurisdiction but also the rest of Australia, I do not think anyone begrudged the fact that the inquiry had to be held at short notice. Secondly, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of my committee colleagues, Karin MacDonald and Deb Foskey, and especially that of our committee secretary, Dr Hanna Jaireth, who did a magnificent job. I am sure I speak for all committee members in that regard.

As a result of the COAG briefing in September last year, the Chief Minister accepted the need for antiterrorist legislation complementary to the legislation being enacted by the commonwealth and the states. This type of legislation is rare in Australia. We have not seen the like of it before, although people have been detained in times of war. I accept, as does the Chief Minister, that there is a need for this legislation. Although I and the other committee members were not privy to what happened at COAG, when you have a diverse group of people ranging from the Prime Minister to our own Chief Minister accepting the need for it, it must be given precedence.

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