Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 29 October 2015) . . Page.. 3905 ..
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.00): I will be supporting Mr Corbell’s amendment, for the reasons he has just explained. I think it is quite a sensible and practical amendment and I am comfortable with his commitment to deliver it in a timely manner.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.00): This is wrapped up in other elements in the bill but I think the indication perhaps that this is going to take a period of time to sort out makes up part of the concern that the opposition has concerning the actual operation of this bill. In particular if the amendment does not get up, as I think we understand my amendment will not, there are some complications in terms of the execution of this bill. But we will not be opposing it.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.
Clauses 3 and 4, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.02): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [See schedule 2 at page 3944]. I spoke to the substance of this in the in-principle stage but just to clarify: what this would, in essence, do is remove the element of the bill that is a protest by any means. The bill would retain the elements I think that we would agree on, which are the obstruction of people, intimidation, blocking people and so on. It is, as I said, that matter of balance. I have discussed this in some detail. I understand it does not have support of the Assembly, but nonetheless.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (5.03): The Labor members of the government will not be supporting this amendment from Mr Hanson. His amendment proposes to remove part 85(1)(c) that outlines the types of prohibited behaviour that are not allowed in the proposed exclusion zone area. The provision is at part (c) which refers to “protests by any means in the protected area in relation to the provision of abortions in the approved medical facility”.
It is the case that other parts of that section are retained should Mr Hanson’s amendment be successful, and those other parts of the bill deal with other forms of prohibited behaviour, which is the actual harassment, hindering, intimidation, interference, threatening, obstructing of a person seeking legal termination services. But, of course, what Mr Hanson’s amendment effectively does is continue to sanction the conduct that currently occurs and which is currently the source of much concern to women who are accessing legal pregnancy termination services. The presence of that gathering that we know occurs outside the clinic is a presence that, by its very fact of being there, is a cause of distress, shame and embarrassment for women who are seeking legal, safe pregnancy termination services.