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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2230..


Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, on a point of order - - -

MR SPEAKER: I do not uphold the point of order. I would remind you, Mr Moore, of standing order 202(a).

Mr Moore: Is that (a) or (e), Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Standing order 202(a). The point of order is not upheld.

Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, I ask you to reconsider your ruling. Quite a number of times Mr Humphries has been pushing standing order 52. Mr Speaker, you ruled that way to start off with, and he has done it three or four more times since. I have drawn it to your attention. I believe it is inappropriate for the Minister to continue to do that. If anybody is going to be booted out, Mr Speaker, it should be Mr Humphries.

MR SPEAKER: I refer you to page 490 of House of Representatives Practice, which states:

A Member, speaking to the question that a bill be read a third time, has been ordered not to reflect on votes already taken during consideration of the bill, and a Member has been ordered not to canvass decisions of the House of the same session. This rule is not interpreted in such a way as to prevent a reasonable expression of views on matters of public concern.

That is House of Representatives Practice. That is what we fall back on when our own standing orders are not clear, and they are not clear in this case. We are not reflecting on a vote of the same year, as Mr Kaine has already pointed out. Therefore, I believe that Mr Humphries is perfectly within his rights to continue his presentation speech, which I am watching very carefully. He is not transgressing the rule, which should not be interpreted in such a way as to prevent a reasonable expression of views on matters of public concern. However, standing orders apply to constant and repeated interjections.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, in debate on the earlier Bill Ms Follett said - - -

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. When you mention constant interjections, are you referring to my taking points of order or are you referring to - - -

MR SPEAKER: I am speaking of your constant interjections, Mr Moore, which will be dealt with if you continue. Please continue, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, Ms Follett said that this Bill would "put more power in the hands of pressure groups, extremists and power elites and reduce the influence of the average citizen on the legislative process". On the contrary, I believe that community-initiated referenda, a policy which was until not many years ago, indeed in the lifetime of most people in this place, the policy of the Australian Labor Party - - -


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