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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (18 April) . . Page.. 1078..


MR SPEAKER: I do not accept what you are putting to me. Mr Whitecross, would you like to ask a supplementary question in the terms of standing order 119?

MR WHITECROSS: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I understand Mr Humphries's concerns. My supplementary question, Mr Speaker, is this: What programs are you going to cut? What outputs are you not going to purchase in order to pay for this $14.2m hole in your health budget?

MRS CARNELL: I am very happy to tell Mr Whitecross again. Capital works is underexpended by up to $14m, Mr Speaker. Interestingly, $8m of that is directly attributable to this Assembly. Maybe I should say thank you very much, Mr Moore, for not allowing us to go ahead with the Acton-Kingston - - -

Mr Berry: I raise a point of order. Mr Speaker, I draw your attention to standing order 118, which sets out how questions without notice should be answered. The basis of that standing order, Mr Speaker, is that the question has to be answered and not avoided. The question that has been put by Mr Whitecross is very simple: What non-health programs, what outputs, are you going to cut or reduce funding to in order to pay for your incompetence as Health Minister? If you have a look at standing order 118, as we are sticking to the standing orders all of a sudden, it says:

The answer to a question without notice:

(a) shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question; and

(b) shall not debate the subject to which the question refers,

and the Speaker may direct a Member to terminate an answer if of the opinion that these provisions are being contravened or that the Member has had a sufficient opportunity to answer the question.

Mr Speaker, in so far as the question is concerned, I would like you to require the Minister to answer the question. I would like you to drop the precedents of your past opinions when you said that the Ministers can answer how they like. They cannot.

MR SPEAKER: The standing order says:

The answer to a question without notice:

(a) shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question ...


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