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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 24 September 2015) . . Page.. 3489 ..

change to standing order 210 would merely facilitate that if and when a member decided they wanted to do so.

This week is International Week of the Deaf, so I thought it quite right and proper to bring this motion today. I expect that it will be passed with the unanimous support of all members of the Assembly. Members might also be aware that this year’s Young Australian of the Year is a young, strong, proud deaf woman from Western Australia, Drisana Levitzke-Gray, who advocates strongly for the rights of deaf people, including access to their own language, which is Auslan, Australian sign language.

International Week of the Deaf is an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf, and it was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. Since then it has been celebrated annually by the global deaf community. It is held in the last week of September each year and is commemorated through various activities. It encourages the participation and involvement of stakeholders, including governments and government organisations, interpreters, families and disabled people’s organisations. That is another reason why it will be appropriate to support this motion today to amend standing order 210.

It is my understanding that the government will move to adjourn the debate and the motion to amend will then go to the admin and procedures committee for discussion. If that is what happens I hope that the committee will see their way clear to support this motion. It is not a particularly detailed or complex amendment; it is just five words. I am a bit surprised that the motion may not go through today with the unanimous support of everyone in the Assembly to support communication access for people who are deaf.

The deaf community have a long history of being denied access to their own language. The ACT Legislative Assembly could take a leading role here by allowing and supporting this amendment today, which would allow interpreters onto the floor of the Assembly as a matter of course rather than it being seen as a privilege or a gift in the hands of or at the whim of members of the government. It does not make it mandatory. I stress that, Madam Speaker: it does not make it mandatory. It makes it possible without being a gift of members of the Assembly. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (11.15): I move:

That the debate be adjourned.

Question put.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7

Noes 6

Mr Barr

Ms Fitzharris

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Ms Berry

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Mr Wall

Dr Bourke

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Ms Lawder

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

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