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Thursday, 26 November 1998
Page: 786

Mr FITZGIBBON —My question is to the Minister for Sport and Tourism. Did the minister release a communique on Friday, 20 November 1998 claiming that it represented the unanimous view of the state and territory sports ministers with respect to child boxing? Is it true that not all of the state ministers were consulted about the communique before its release and, when state ministers asked whether changes could be made, they were informed by your office that it was `too late, it's gone'? Minister, did the South Australian minister subsequently tear up his copy of the communique in protest at your high-handed attitude?

Miss JACKIE KELLY (Sport and Tourism; Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games) —It is true that I chaired a meeting of the sports and recreational ministers on 20 November. It is true that all ministers at that meeting were appalled at the thought of people profiteering from young children hitting each other around the ring. It was agreed at that meeting that we would go away and consider a national approach and set up a working party to look at the problem. New South Wales has come up with a bandaid approach to a problem that is of great concern to all Australians. Victoria put forward their legislation, which looks at banning professional boxing for under 18—not 14, not 16, but under 18.

Mr McMullan —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. The minister is obviously well briefed on the facts of other states' legislation, but the question was actually about the communique—

Mr SPEAKER —No, there is no point of order.

Mr McMullan —With respect, Mr Speaker—

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Fraser will resume—

Mr McMullan —With respect, Mr Speaker, if I might conclude my point of order before you answer it.

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Fraser may conclude his point of order.

Mr McMullan —Thank you. The question did not go to what actions states have taken; it went to the circumstances in which a communique was released and whether others disagreed with it. This is not relevant to that.

Mr SPEAKER —I fail to see how that can possibly be a point of order. The minister was asked a question.

Mr Bevis —She was asked about the communique.

Mr Tanner —Did they all agree?

Mr McMullan —She was asked about the processes.

Mr SPEAKER —I have no reason to do anything other than to say that I fail to see that that is a point of order, but I add that the minister is responding on the way in which the states responded, and I would have thought that was entirely relevant to the communique and the question she was asked. The minister is entirely in order.

Miss JACKIE KELLY —At that meeting the New South Wales sports minister introduced a motion that no-one at that meeting had read. We suddenly got a motion. She had not even bothered to get her Labor colleagues from Tasmania and Queensland to attend the meeting to second that motion. It was not even seconded. It was not even discussed before she raced out of the meeting to hold a press conference on the bandaid measure that New South Wales had come to.

Mr SPEAKER —The minister will resume her seat. The member for Hunter has the call, but if this is a point of order on relevance I will sit him straight down.

Mr Fitzgibbon —Mr Speaker, did the minister's South Australian colleague tear up the communique in disgust?

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Hunter will resume his seat and consider himself warned.

Miss JACKIE KELLY —The rest of the ministers at that meeting continued in mature and considered discussion of the issue. We came to a unanimous decision, backed up by the New South Wales minister and the South Australian minister, that we would form a working party to look at the Victorian legislation to come up with a national approach to the problem and that I would go away and discuss with the national sporting organisation a resolution to this issue. It was unanimous agreement at that meeting.