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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 3 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 865..


PERSONAL EXPLANATION

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General): Mr Speaker, I seek leave under standing order 46 to make a personal explanation.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR HUMPHRIES: There were some fairly strong words used by Mr Whitecross in his comments on - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Mr Humphries seems to be preparing himself to debate the issues raised by Mr Whitecross in the course of his earlier comments. Mr Humphries had the opportunity to participate in that debate before the motion was passed and should not abuse the standing orders by continuing that debate at this point.

MR SPEAKER: I have no idea whether Mr Humphries is going to continue the debate. I have not heard what he is saying yet. Mr Humphries is well aware of what a personal explanation is about, and I am sure he will be careful.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Whitecross made some fairly strong comments about my performance as a Minister in his - - -

Mr Berry: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Humphries is attempting to debate the comments that were made by Mr Whitecross in the course of a debate on a motion which has just been passed without opposition. Mr Humphries had the opportunity to participate in that debate. He was in his place and did not do so. He should not be allowed to use the standing orders to follow that course after the motion has been passed.

MR SPEAKER: I do not uphold the point of order. Mr Humphries is allowed, under standing order 46 - and he has been given leave to do so - to explain matters of a personal nature.

Mr Berry: But he must not debate the issue.

MR SPEAKER: I do not believe that Mr Humphries, in the few words he has said, was debating the issue. I have drawn the Assembly's attention to the fact that Mr Humphries is well aware of standing order 46 and what he can and cannot do under that standing order. Proceed, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: To resume what I was saying, in his comments to the Assembly, Mr Whitecross made fairly critical comments about my performance as a Minister, and I want to defend myself against those comments to the extent that that is appropriate.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I raise the point of order again. Mr Humphries has just said that he wants to defend himself against the comments that were made by Mr Whitecross in the course of his contribution in relation to the matter upon which a motion has just been passed. Standing order 46 prohibits Mr Humphries from doing so. It clearly says that the matter cannot be debated. Mr Humphries is attempting to debate it.


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