Page 4041 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 20 September 2011

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the right to protection from self-incrimination and it believes—and I believe—it can maintain a national approach to occupational health and safety.

There is this sort of strange approach from the current government in relation to template legislation which I think is alarming—this will come up a number of times in the debate here today—where we see the government saying, “We have to do this because we’ve been to COAG and we’ve have had a discussion in COAG and COAG has agreed that we will have national uniform legislation.” In doing so, this government, who like to say, “We were the first government in Australia to implement a charter or rights,” is undermining one of the fundamental rights in that legislation.

This is an important matter, and it is a matter that the Canberra Liberals will not agree to. We believe that, although this matter is hedged around with protections, the longstanding and fundamental right in common law jurisdictions of the right to remain silent and not have that interpreted in any way in relation to guilt or otherwise is not something we trample on lightly. This is an issue that the Canberra Liberals have a consistent record on.

This government likes to beat their chest and say, “We have legislated in this space.” All they have done after they have legislated in this space is to spend their time systematically trampling on the rights of Canberrans. We have seen it with attempts to make changes in the courts to do away with jury trials in a range of areas, we see it here, and we will see it again in relation to the reverse onus of proof later in this debate. The Canberra Liberals will be known by their actions, and our actions are clear and our beliefs are clear—we should not lightly legislate away people’s rights. We will not be part of a piece of legislation that legislates away such a fundamental right.

A number of amendments are consequential upon this clause passing. From memory, they are amendments 11, 12, 14, 16 and 17. I understand from the discussion that me and my staff have had that this very important clause is not going to be opposed by the Greens. They think it is all right to abrogate people’s privilege against self-incrimination. I understand, therefore, that clause 172 will remain in the bill in its current form. If that is the case, then amendments 11, 12, 14, 16 and 17 will not be moved. But I commend to the Assembly the notion that we should not be trampling on people’s rights, and the Canberra Liberals will have no part of it.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Children and young people—care

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, on 8 September 2011, Mrs Dunne received a briefing from officials of the Care and

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