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You’ve heard it before, but it’s still amusing

30 November, 2006

HON SIMON O’BRIEN (South Metropolitan) [11.05 am]: […] It is argued that this new law will keep people out of the criminal justice system. Yet, the Opposition has already demonstrated in this place and elsewhere that the model for this policy has produced the opposite result in its home jurisdiction of South Australia. No matter how much minor tweaking one does around the edges of that model, it is an egg that cannot be repaired. The Gallop Labor Government continues to be in denial over these matters. Persistence in certain circumstances can be an admirable quality; however, obstinate persistence in the face of overwhelming evidence of folly is not. The following exchange took place off Newfoundland in the North Atlantic in October 1995 between Canadian authorities and the United States Navy. It commenced with the Canadians sending the following signal by radio –

Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the north.

Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert your course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert your course.

Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees North. I say again, that’s one five degrees North, or counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

Canadians: We are a lighthouse. Your call.

The Gallop Labor Government is in charge of the ship of state, and it is heading for the electoral rocks on this matter. It is blind to the warnings of experience. It is deaf to the entreaties of reason. Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich, as the parliamentary secretary representing the minister who has responsibility for this Bill, has tried to interject, and I have ignored her, but I –

Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: There is no way that we can be heading for the electoral rocks with you in opposition!

The PRESIDENT: Order! I commend the actions of the member who has the call in ignoring unruly interjections.

Subject: Cannabis Control Bill 2003 [Legislative Council – Second Reading]

Date: 14 May 2003

Hansard reference: pp. 7606b – 7622a [online (pdf)]

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