Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 August 2008) . . Page.. 3853 ..
has moved to places they would rather it not have moved to. But it has moved and we are now much more aware, I believe, of the sanctity of human life. We are coming, I hope, as a society, closer to where I believe it is.
I know for a fact that Mrs Dunne and I share one particular definition, if we differ on many others, and that is that life begins at conception. That is something that both of us and Mr Stefaniak know. We may differ from that point going forward but that is where our belief lies. I find it horrendous that a decision would need to be made at all. I know, Mr Speaker, that you share that belief that it is horrendous that the decision would need to be made at all.
But society has now moved to a position where we discuss whose final decision this is. We need to give this leadership to the community; we need to stand up and say where we stand on this. I have done it twice in this place. I have gone out of this place and I have been pilloried for my views; I have been mocked; I have been abused; and I have been spat on for my views. I have endured that because I have done what I believe to be right. I know there are people who hold the contrary view to me who have been abused, have been threatened and have been called incredibly horrible names when there is no need for that.
I am not the leader of my party, but I have got the courage to stand up here and say to you all now, “I do not change my view on where I was six years and six days ago; I do not change my view of where I was before that.” But that is not what this motion is saying. This motion is saying that we reaffirm the laws of this territory as decided by the democratic process in this parliament. And I will affirm that tonight. The motion also talks about “reaffirms its support for the laws that have been reformed”. I believe they have. I would sometimes change some of them but, for the most part, they are for the better.
I will be supporting this motion and I would urge all of us here to consider the motion itself and try to be very careful in what we say to each other, as we leave this chamber, about what has been said here this evening. I have been doing a fair amount of work upstairs and, whilst I have been doing it, I have had the reticulation of this debate on in my office. There have been some appalling things said and I think that we need to examine our hearts on this issue.
We have absolutely no doubt where the leader of the government sits; Mr Speaker, we have no doubt where you sit; and we have no doubt where my colleagues sit. I hope people in this chamber have no doubt where I sit and stand on this issue. I know very clearly where Mrs Dunne and Mr Stefaniak sit; I know where Mr Smyth and Mrs Burke sit. I respect their positions.
I would like now, to make this complete—and I thank Mr Mulcahy for his articulation because it puts me very firmly in the picture—to hear the 17th member of this chamber so that I can be absolutely clear in my mind.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (9.58): It is a pleasure to rise to speak to this motion. I am glad that we could finally get here. It has been put off a few times. I will not be supporting this motion, for a number of reasons.