Page 3858 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015
could not be intimidatory, unlawful or threatening. They could not block or obstruct. This is where it becomes a problem, because what is that interpretation? Who is going to enforce this? How is it to be enforced?
I note that the government’s own amendment recognises this challenge. It is seeking to delay the implementation of this legislation by six months, recognising that very challenge of how to actually implement such a law. There is a range of scenarios, but what about the idea of an elderly nun praying in the street and being subject to this law? How will that be addressed? What is going to happen? These are issues that have not been explained. These are issues that again we need to think through and answer before introducing such blanket laws when, by their very definition, if this bill were amended, they would be very peaceful and not intimidatory protests in whatever form.
We think it is about finding the balance that Ms Fitzharris and others have spoken about. We have a view that the balance is slightly different, I suppose, in a sense, towards free speech. That is in issue that is a fundamental tenet of the Liberal Party, and it is a view that is shared, I think, by many.
Certainly, it would be good if we could address this issue with respect. I have noted the press release from the Labor Party this morning. I will not be responding. I do not think it would help the debate. If the Labor Party wish to politick on this, if they wish to go down that route, that is their choice. I will not be engaging in a similar fashion. That is Mr Corbell’s decision. I am a little disappointed and a little surprised. It is his right. As I say, in the interests of free speech, that is the way it goes. But I am not sure that it helps anybody on either side of the debate with regard to this issue.
I accept that there are limitations on free speech applied in our community and in our legislative instruments, but we need to find the right balance. That is why, as I have said, in the detail stage we will move an amendment which defines what my party considers to be the right balance.
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 12.32 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
ACT Health—quarterly reporting
MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, the ACT Health website displays the latest health quarterly report. On 23 September 2015 the latest quarterly report was from 2014. Reports due for March and June 2015 had not been released. In September I asked the minister:
… do the unreleased reports for 2015 continue to show that ACT hospitals have the longest emergency department waiting times in Australia?
The minister did not answer the question. The March report, released in this month, shows that for four out of five measures the ED had worse waiting times than last