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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (23 May) . . Page.. 1680..


Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. This is the same sort of point of order that Mr Humphries took before on my supplementary question. I did not challenge your ruling in that case. What happened here is that, before taking the question on notice, Mr De Domenico answered the question. He said quite a number of things, and then said, "I will take part of it on notice". He used the time. He did not just stand up and say, "I will take it on notice". He said a number of other things. In fact, he started by saying, "I wish that I could remember a whole series of things". If he makes a comment, no matter what that comment is, other than, "I will take it on notice", then clearly there is room for a supplementary question.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: I submit to you that if Ms Tucker wished to ask a question about Mr De Domenico's memory - something which he referred to before taking the question on notice - she would be entitled to do so, but anything else is subject to the fact that Mr De Domenico took the whole of the question on notice. If members want the right to ask two questions or three questions - as they do, I understand, in the House of Commons in Britain - they should change the standing orders to allow that; but our system is that we ask a question and issues flowing from the answer give rise to a supplementary question. That is the way the standing orders work. I would suggest that you, Mr Speaker, are entitled to uphold that principle.

MS TUCKER: I would argue equally that it has been acknowledged by the Minister that 0.5 per cent of buses do not turn up. He has not denied that there are buses that do not turn up. My supplementary question is to follow on about why buses do not turn up. He cannot give me a specific answer on how many buses do not turn up. He has acknowledged that buses do not turn up, and that is what my supplementary question comes from.

Ms McRae: Mr Speaker, I raise a further point of order. I am sure that there is a way through this if the members choose to ask for leave of the Assembly to add further information to their first question - not as a supplementary question, but as an amplification because they did not expect the question to be taken on notice. Mr Speaker, perhaps you can consider that.

Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I also draw your attention to the inadequacy of Mr Humphries's reading of the standing order. The standing order says:

... Provided that the supplementary question is relevant to the original question or arises out of the answer given ...

Mr Humphries suggested that a supplementary question must arise out of the answer given. That is not necessarily the case. It can be relevant to the original question, as Ms Tucker's is.


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