Page 3730 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 9

Mr Coe

Ms Lawder

Mr Barr

Ms Gallagher

Mr Doszpot

Mr Smyth

Ms Berry

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Mr Wall

Dr Bourke

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Jones

Mr Corbell

Question so resolved in the negative.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Doszpot): The question now is that Dr Bourke’s original motion be agreed to.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (4.11): Mr Assistant Speaker, I am delighted to add my comments in relation to this motion today. This is an important motion that Dr Bourke is proposing to the Assembly. It is important because all governments are judged ultimately by whether or not they deliver on their election commitments, whether or not they do what they said they would do on behalf of the people if they were elected. Today I would like to highlight the steps that the government has taken in my areas of portfolio responsibility when it comes to meeting our election commitments.

I turn first to the Justice and Community Safety portfolio. The most important reform, one of the most important reforms to date this year—indeed, not just this year—was seen this week when we passed the marriage equality same-sex bill. That, of course, was a key election commitment of the Labor government. It was a bill which removes discrimination and segregation of people in same-sex relationships when it comes to the legal recognition of their relationships. We saw yesterday in this public gallery overwhelming community support: in this place here yesterday, there was probably one of the largest audiences ever seen in the history of self-government, to see that law passed.

The only element of disappointment in the debate yesterday was the failure of those opposite to support that law—and, more importantly and more significantly, their failure to even have the courage of their convictions by standing up and saying why they oppose that law.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MR CORBELL: We heard from the opposition leader, and we just heard the interjection from Mr Coe. That is more than he said in the whole debate yesterday. If he feels so strongly about this issue, why wasn’t he prepared to stand up and say why his vote was cast against the law that removed discrimination and removed inequality for same-sex couples? That resolution yesterday and the establishment of that law are a key election commitment of this Labor government—a commitment delivered.

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