Page 691 - Week 02 - Thursday, 10 March 2011

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Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Assembly met at 10 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


The following petition was lodged for presentation, by Mr Hargreaves, from 31 residents:

Media broadcasts—alleged abrogation of religious freedoms—
petition No 117

To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory:

This petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the attention of the Assembly that:

On 18 February, 2011, a talkback host on Sydney radio station 2GB, offered listeners a prize if they could guess the number of asylum seekers killed in the December tragedy being buried during the Sydney funerals the next day.

In a segment entitled “Smithy’s Mystery”, Smith offered a range of prizes including movie tickets, a DVD and a book for the first listener who could answer how many people were being buried at the funerals.

From January 17 2011, starting at midday, local radio station 2CC has been broadcasting Chris Smith’s afternoon show, on relay from 2GB Sydney.

Recent attempts in the mainstream media to propagate or encourage the abrogation of religious freedoms in Australia appear to be having an adverse affect on political discourse. Recent statements and acts, such as the tabling of petitions with clearly divisive undertones, surrender the secular, non-discriminatory moral foundations our nation holds dear.

My petitioners therefore request the Assembly to:

1. Support policies which will result in a renewed vigilance in monitoring the nation’s media and appropriate measures if said media is found guilty of racist sentiment or of inciting an intolerance towards religious freedoms in the ACT.

2. Communicate to the Speaker of the Federal Parliament the ACT Legislative Assembly’s strong support for federal legislation that to ensures the above policies and processes.

3. Write to 2CC stating that Chris Smith’s afternoon show is inappropriate for the local audience.

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