Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2567..
The petition read as follows:
To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory:
The petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the attention of the Parliament that: the undersigned residents living in the Belconnen area can identify huge benefits to our community from the proposed project to introduce much needed community, sporting and other amenities by the Belconnen Soccer Club. This project is to be located in McKellar at Section 71, bounded by William Slim Drive and Owen Dixon Drive.
Your petitioners therefore request urgent attention by the Assembly to approve this lease and development application.
MR SPEAKER: Before we move onto the business of the day, I have two statements I would like to make in relation to the interpretation of standing orders. The first concerns standing order 52, reflections upon votes. Over the past few months points of order have been raised concerning reflections upon a vote of the Assembly. Assembly standing order 52 provides:
A Member may not reflect upon any vote of the Assembly, except upon a motion that such vote be rescinded.
This is the same in substance as House of Representatives standing order 73. The practice of the House of Representatives, to which we are linked through standing order 275, is:
This rule is not interpreted in such a way as to prevent a reasonable expression of views on matters of public concern.
That quote is from House of Representatives Practice, page 490. Other parliaments interpret the standing order more loosely. For example, in the Australian Senate the relevant standing order is seldom invoked, and in practice senators are not prevented from saying that a decision of the Senate was wrong. The reference is Odgers's Australian Senate Practice, seventh edition, page 231. Odgers states that the rule could be invoked against gross abuse of a past decision of the Senate, which would amount to reflections on the Senate itself.