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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 674 ..

law, freedom of speech and religion, parliamentary democracy and equality of opportunity, is a statement that leads towards a totalitarian state then that is a little bit over the top. While there is always a temptation to get excited in moments like these and the rhetoric will rise, and just as I have been guilty myself in the past of rhetorical flourishes that could be described as overreach, I think we might just have witnessed that in relation to the comments I have made this morning.

I think those democratic principles of the rule of law, freedom of speech and religion, parliamentary democracy and equality of opportunity are principles worth standing up for, and I believe that nothing I have said contravenes those principles. I am pleased to be able to reiterate today support for those principles.

In relation to the other comments from the Leader of the Opposition, I have reflected and will continue to reflect upon the various factors that contribute to the views I have formed and some of the things I have said. We all in our lives need to reflect upon certain things. As I have said, you are never too old to learn, and I will take the opportunity, particularly over the Easter period, to reflect further upon those issues. I acknowledge I have made a mistake.

I have made a mistake, but I am not the only person to have ever said something they regret or to have done something they regret. That is something those opposite, I am sure, will continue to remind me of, as will those in the media. I will inevitably live with that for as long as I am in public life. I acknowledge and understand that. It is what it is; all I can do is apologise and seek to move on with the responsibilities that both this place and the people of Canberra have granted through the ballot box and the democratic process.

We were elected to deliver a series of pretty clear commitments, and that will remain my focus during this parliamentary term. I understand there will be an amendment to this particular motion which reflects a more balanced position, and I indicate that we will support that amendment.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (10.40): I rise to speak to this motion this morning and express the Greens’ concerns at the comments made by the Chief Minister. I think they were regrettable and reflected inappropriately on the mainstream media and also raised concerns for some of the older members of the Canberra community. I welcome the fact that the Chief Minister has come to the chamber this morning and made the apologies and the remarks that he has made. As he rightly observed, we have all made comments in the heat of the moment that we later regret and perhaps wish we had not made or wish we had expressed differently. I welcome the fact that the Chief Minister has made those remarks both in the media generally and in the chamber this morning.

The Greens will be moving an amendment to this censure motion. I have just given that to the Assembly staff to circulate. My apologies for the late circulation, but we did not see the Liberal Party motion until we walked in here this morning and so we had to draft our amendment after that. The practicalities of getting that circulated dictate that it is just coming now. Members will see it shortly, but it reflects the remarks I have just made.

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