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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3344..


Mr Berry: The point is clear, Mr Speaker: This is an issue which the Assembly ought to decide on. If people do not want to support the proposed amendment, they vote against it.

Mrs Carnell: It is his motion.

Mr Berry: Mrs Carnell interjects, "It is his motion". No; it is not Michael Moore's motion. It is now the property of the Assembly. She ought to keep her eye on the standing orders. Once a motion is introduced, it is the property of the Assembly, for heaven's sake. Mr Speaker, we have a situation well and truly in front of us where the motion is the property of the Assembly. The proposed amendment is relevant. It, too, will be the property of the Assembly. If members do not want to vote for the proposed amendment, they vote against it. The same applies in relation to the motion. This is a whole lot of nonsense.

Mr Humphries: I was just going to make a submission to you on the point of order. I think, Mr Speaker, it is a question of interpretation for you, obviously; but, if a member were to look at the words in the motion that was printed on the notice paper, they would assume that the subject matter for debate is much narrower than the subject matter which is covered by Ms McRae's proposed amendment. Therefore, a member who was not interested in that narrower question might not have chosen to be here to listen to the debate. I think there is a danger in allowing amendments to widen the motion so dramatically.

Mr Berry: Well, vote against it.

Mr Humphries: It is more than that. It is a question of ensuring that the issues being debated are relevant to what is actually on the notice paper. Mr Moore now has the stage for his motion on the lakes; his motion is about the lakes. Ms McRae's proposed amendment is about capital works. It is a much broader issue, and I would say Ms McRae should move it as a separate motion if she wants to move it.

MR SPEAKER: It is in the Assembly's hands to decide whether or not this is relevant, and that can be decided if I rule in a particular way. It is then up to the Assembly whether or not they accept my ruling. That seems to me to be the most sensible way to sort the matter out. Having read Ms McRae's proposed amendment, I do believe that it substantially broadens the motion that Mr Moore has put. Therefore, I will rule it out of order. However, I now leave it to the Assembly to make a decision as to what they wish to do.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, how do you propose that we do that? Are you inviting us to move a motion of dissent?

MS McRAE: Exactly; which we are not allowed to do. We cannot do that.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment. I am advised by the Clerk, Ms McRae, that that is not so. Leave can be sought to move a motion of dissent from my ruling. It is up to the Assembly whether you wish to do that. That matter can then be decided by the Assembly itself.


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