Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 August 2008) . . Page.. 3728 ..
the Liberal Party, have not been brought on for debate, despite some of them having been introduced last year. It just shows the priority that they are prepared to give to private members’ business day, because, despite the fact that they had 10 bills that they have introduced, they have chosen not to list them for debate today. Instead, we see an attempt by the Liberal Party essentially to promote a range of other issues, in the form of bills, which they know have no prospect of substantive debate or passage in this place during the term of this Assembly.
Other non-executive members do have business that they wish to see debated today, and the government agrees that it is those items that should be given priority. Therefore, the government is pleased to suggest to the Assembly that, instead of engaging in the stunt that was outlined by the Liberal Party when they gave notice of those five bills this morning, we proceed to debate immediately on the matters that are outlined on the notice paper, whereby other members have taken the time to introduce these bills and have them ready for debate today.
The government would like to allow non-executive members to have the opportunity, on this last private members’ business day before the election, to debate those bills that have been introduced and which are actually ready for debate. We propose that Mr Mulcahy’s bill, the Criminal Code (Drug Equipment) Amendment Bill, be brought on for debate. This is an important issue, obviously, for Mr Mulcahy, and he has given the Assembly notice of his intention to have that matter debated today. Equally, Dr Foskey has for some time flagged her interest in having a debate in this place on the Protection of Public Participation Bill, and I am pleased to say that the government agrees that we should proceed with that matter today. Of course, there is a piece of unfinished business from the last sitting, with Mr Gentleman’s motion in relation to law reform in the area of abortion, and we agree that that is also a matter that should be finalised today.
The government wants to take a constructive approach to this last sitting day. We are interested in having substantive debate on matters that we know have been flagged as important and matters that are ready for debate. In contrast to those opposite, we are not going to support an attempt to grandstand on the last private members’ business day in this place, where we will see five bills introduced by the Liberal Party which have no prospect of any substantive debate or passage in this place. The very shallow tactics adopted by the Liberal Party can only be confirmed by the fact that they have 10 bills on the notice paper which they have introduced over the last 18 months, and which they clearly do not even agree with anymore.
Are they saying that they do not think that the Projects of Territory Importance Bill is important anymore, Mr Speaker? Are they saying, for example, that the Anzac Day Bill is not important any more? Are they saying that the hospital boards bill is not important anymore? Mr Speaker, in these issues you can see the very shallow nature of the Liberal Party in terms of introducing bills today. They are exposed for what they are: they are not serious about their legislation program. All that they want to do is grandstand, and we are not prepared to agree to that today.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (10.38): I will support the motion, and there are quite a number of pretty good reasons for doing so. Ever since I saw the program for today, it was pretty clear that the bills were a stunt, since none of them are going to be debated