Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 December 2016) . . Page.. 186 ..
a sincere attempt to bring together the Assembly when it is so obviously being used to try to wedge members of the Assembly. To put all of these issues in the one motion and to introduce it as progressive is, in effect, either trying to wedge the opposition or is actively trying to make it such that we either do not support it or that we have issues with it.
The opposition, of course, accepts that these are very significant issues, and I think they do warrant genuine discussion. But, quite frankly, the idea of putting serious issues such as bullying and harassment in the same motion as ride sharing, to me, is a bit disingenuous. I do not think it really fits with the very serious nature of the subjects listed in paragraph (2).
The opposition is very happy and very eager to engage in these discussions, especially on issues such as the safe schools program, where there are obviously mixed views in the community. We know that 24 or 25 schools have signed up to this. A lot of schools have not. And there are different views and different opinions in the community. This Assembly is the rightful place to have these discussions. This Assembly is the right place to canvass the different views held in the community so that we can make sure we have effective programs that seek to stamp out bullying.
Again, the idea of putting that very serious issue in the same motion as ride-sharing services or the mention of integrated transport, is to me, a bit of a stretch. To me, it seems this is far more about the politics of trying to wedge the opposition rather than trying to unite the Assembly on what are some very significant issues.
As I said the opposition is very keen, happy and willing; we want to engage in a meaningful and significant way on these issues. We do think we need to combat bullying in all its forms. We do need to support women. We do need to manage the environment. We do need to have better transport options. We do need to look at what mental health services we have and how we deliver them. We do need to look at public housing and numerous other things, and we should be doing this in a meaningful and substantial way. But the idea of putting them all in the same motion and introducing them as being progressive, makes it seem to me as if it is more about the politics than the actual issues.
I certainly encourage the member, and, indeed, any member of this place, to bring back any of these issues with more specific or more concrete proposals in terms of what they are calling for, especially here in the territory; that would be good. I think we would then have a much more meaningful discussion.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (5.08): I thank Mr Steel for bringing this motion forward. It is a great opportunity to talk about some issues that are very dear to my heart and very dear to the hearts of many supporters of the Greens who have great passion in relation to some of the issues we are discussing here today. Ms Le Couteur has already made some comments. I would like to touch on a few of the other topics that were covered in Mr Steel’s motion.