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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 1 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 155..


Mr Humphries: It was an increase, was it not?

Mrs Carnell: There was an increase, yes.

MS FOLLETT: In the SES there was not.

ROLE OF SPEAKER

Ms McRae: I raise a point of order. Mr Speaker, I was most concerned this morning to hear the Chief Minister talking on radio 2CN and claiming that the Assembly has a ban on Tuesday night sittings and had in fact voted on the matter. I rang the station and was not able to get a correction on air. Mr Speaker, I am asking for guidance as to what your role is going to be in this Assembly. You are the representative of the Assembly and our good standing in the community. This statement was clearly wrong and put an interpretation on the Assembly's activities which was wrong. You are the protector of the Assembly. We have strong views on this issue and we are going to debate it. The result may be quite different from what was announced on air today. Would you consider, please, making a statement on what actions you are going to take in terms of this form of misrepresentation in this instance and in any future instance, Mr Speaker? Not at this moment; I am happy to wait for a written statement.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. I will, obviously, have to take that on notice.

Mr Humphries: I was going to make a submission on the point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you.

Mr Humphries: I was going to say that, clearly, there will be circumstances when members will comment in a public way on what they expect that the Assembly is going to do. If we were each held to account for making comments of that kind, we would all be facing whatever action it is that Ms McRae seems to think you should be taking. I think that this is a question of the construction of what was being said. If it was a case of saying that this has already happened, that is obviously one matter. If it was a case of saying that it is expected that this will happen, that is quite another matter. I think, Mr Speaker, that we need to give some attention to what was said and how it was said.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Humphries. I would need to check the information. I am not disputing anybody's comments, but I would need to check out the matter. As Ms McRae has asked me to consider it, I will do so.

Mrs Carnell: Mr Speaker, I am more than happy to dispel the issue now. If I gave any misinterpretation of the issue, I apologise. I am very happy to. From my perspective, it was not an issue on which I meant to mislead anybody. If that was the case, I am very happy to apologise right now, just to take the issue off the agenda.


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