Page 3834 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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What I did not expect in not speaking to that issue was that I would come under public attack in the way that Mr Hanson spoke in the chamber that day and then the way Ms Lawder made a very derisive set of contributions through her Facebook page. I would like to reflect on that because I think it is a poor reflection on the integrity of Ms Lawder that she took this approach to this matter. What she knew, and what any member of this place knows, is that sending something to the administration and procedure committee when it comes to changing standing orders is standard practice.

Ms Lawder instead chose the path of division in the community. On her Facebook page she said: “Disappointingly, the Barr Labor-Greens government have not supported my amendment to allow Auslan interpreters to make the Legislative Assembly’s proceedings more accessible for deaf people.” She goes on to say: “I employ a deaf person in my office and I understand the communication barriers they face day to day. I can’t understand why the Barr government wouldn’t want to support information access for deaf people in Canberra immediately.”

I am sure she could stand up and say, “Well, technically that’s true. It wasn’t supported on the day.” But to go down that sort of path is such grubby politics that it reflects very poorly on the members opposite in this chamber. It is standard procedure for these sorts of things to go to the administration and procedure committee. I am sorry that Ms Lawder chose this pathway, because it was unnecessary and did not reflect well on this place at all.

That said, I am very pleased to support this today. I always intended to support it. It was worthwhile that it went to the administration and procedure committee so that we could have a discussion about how an Auslan interpreter would be paid for. The administration and procedure committee discussed the fact that we should not expect people to come and do this on a voluntary basis; that, if we are requiring the service, it should be paid for. We needed to make those findings and we needed to talk about how security issues would be addressed and matters like this. It was not an overly complicated discussion; it simply needed to be worked through.

I regret the pathway chosen by Ms Lawder with this approach, but I am very pleased to support her motion today and look forward to it making this Assembly more accessible to people in the community who currently do not find it as accessible as it should be.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.34): I am somebody who has been here for some time and I have seen some standing order changes go to admin and procedure and some not. For someone to stand up and say that it is a poor reflection on Ms Lawder that she is passionate about her subject, that she wants to change it and she is keen to see it done on a day, reflects more on the member than on Ms Lawder. Then you go and say it is grubby politics. He says, “It looks like the truth, but it doesn’t please me”. Go to Shakespeare: methinks he doth protest too much. The reality is that things can change, and change quickly, and that is an affirmation of what this place believes.

Mr Rattenbury interjecting—

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