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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 8 May 2008) . . Page.. 1749 ..

The amendment is a significant winding back. The government might not think so and the commission might not think so, but as a matter of principle it is a quantum shift. Making it more difficult for independents is not right for democracy in this territory. For those reasons, the Liberal Party, at the end of this debate today, will not be voting for this bill as it is currently constituted.

Title agreed to.

Question put:

That the bill, as amended, be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 7

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Burke

Mr Pratt

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Ms Porter

Dr Foskey

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Mr Mulcahy

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Civil Partnerships Bill 2006

Debate resumed from 12 December 2006, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (1.13 am): Let me start by stating the bleeding obvious: we are at a stage now where we could have been two years ago if the government had accepted the Tasmanian legislation model which we put up in 2006. It was voted down at probably about this time or a little bit earlier—it might have been about 11 o’clock at night instead of a quarter past one. It was around about this time of the year in May two years ago. It was a system that worked well and was tried and proven. Since then it has been adopted by two other Labor states—Victoria and, I understand, South Australia. A lot of people who hung their hopes on this legislation have really been let down by the government. They could have had something in place two years ago. It is interesting in that both federal governments of different political persuasions had problems with what the ACT government was proposing. I will come back to one point in relation to that shortly.

Another point today is that on Sunday the attorney indicated that he had come to no arrangement with the federal government and had to go down this particular path. That was on Sunday. Even though this debate has meandered around in circles for probably two or more years, there is now an element of rushing. We have a bill, a substantive bill, the Civil Partnerships Bill 2006, consisting of 23 pages. The amendments consist of 29 pages.

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