Attorney General Michael Atkinson is obfuscating and has no basis for delaying the Statutes Amendment (Relationships) Bill, Shadow Attorney General Isobel Redmond said today.
“Most of the clauses within this Bill are identical to those that have already been before parliament, and would simply insert the same definitions into a number of Acts,” Ms Redmond said.
“What is the Attorney-General’s agenda? The bill was endorsed by Labor in 2002 and was left to fall of the Notice Paper after passing through the Legislative Council in November 2005 just before the election.
“The work has already been done by the government and I do not understand why the Attorney-General is claiming that this ‘tremendously long and complicated Bill…’(ABC 891 24/08/06) is still with the Parliamentary Council with drafting instructions?
“This is another example of how inadequate Michael Atkinson is as Attorney-General. By his own admission he is finding it difficult to make amendments to a Bill!
“His inattention to detail with the ‘stashed cash’ affair, and the repeated incidents of poorly drafted legislation including the drink and drug driving laws that has caused the Rann Government great embarrassment,” Ms Redmond said.
“It is quite clear from his comments today that Michael Atkinson does not understand the legislation that was passed in the Legislative Council, or he is being dishonest,” Opposition Legislative Council Member Michelle Lensink said.
“On ABC 891 this morning, Michael Atkinson raised that I had sought to include, civil unions, adoption and IVF treatment for same sex couples in the Bill. This is not true.
“He is being deliberately dishonest in misrepresenting the position that I take in relation to the Bill or lacks a thorough understanding of the legislation he is responsible for.
“I believe the call from the Attorney-General that this is the ‘longest Bill to come into the Parliament’ (ABC 891 24/08/06) is ridiculous. Parliament has seen the introduction of many long and complicated Bills, however none have been this controversial.
“Premier Mike Rann and Labor have twice promised to fix this and give same-sex couples rights. When is this legislation going to be introduced?”