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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 154..


MR HIRD: I seek leave to make a small statement on this.

Leave granted.

MR HIRD: I have the greatest of respect for the Deputy Speaker. As a matter of fact, Mr Speaker, I have more respect for him than I have for probably most members of this chamber because of his long experience, having been a member of another parliament. With the greatest of respect, I heard him say that the report was adopted by this select committee on the Friday. Let me inform him that that was not so. Indeed, the minutes will show - it is a technical point and I will take it on the chin - that I received copy No. 3 when I arrived here at about half past 10 or 11 o'clock on the Saturday morning. Then I got another copy at 11 o'clock, which was the final copy. I am sure that the chairman will verify that I received another copy on the Saturday morning.

The point I was making in the debate at that time, Mr Speaker, was: How can you approve a report when the final draft has not been authorised? Indeed, my dissenting report had not been finished until, I think, at the request of the chairman, at 4.30 on that Saturday. So, I do not know how our learned colleague could have known what my dissenting report said. He would not have seen it. By his own admission, the fact is that he had not received the final report. Notwithstanding that, as I said, I am big enough and quite capable enough, in the heat of the moment, to take it on the chin. But I point out to you that the sequence of events certainly does not stack up.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care): I seek leave to make a statement.

Mr Kaine: Just apologise.

MR MOORE: Thank you for your advice, Mr Kaine.

Leave granted.

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I must say that I am even more concerned than I was before. Mr Wood now indicates that the report was adopted on the Friday - - -

Mr Wood: The minutes indicate that.

MR MOORE: He says that the minutes indicate that. I hear what you are saying - that the minutes indicate that the report was adopted on the Friday, when Mr Hird was at a funeral and had informed people, and therefore, because the minutes indicated that it was adopted, Mr Wood was quite within his normal rights to sign it off. But of course the Speaker - and, in his position, the Acting Speaker - has a responsibility to ensure the protection of all members. I must say that it increases my concern about the parliamentary process.

I would like to point out to you, Mr Speaker, that there is another issue that you did not respond to that I think ought to have been responded to. In the copy of Mr Hird's letter that I just sought from the Clerk, there were two additional matters. The first of those additional matters was the direct contravention of standing order 236, which requires that


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