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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1214..


MR SPEAKER: The discussion has concluded.

Adjournment

Motion (by Mr Moore ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Speeches-time limits

MR WOOD (5.50): I want to criticise myself and colleagues. We are not attending to the standing orders. Interjections are one part of it. However, we cannot have a parliament without interjections, although they can be over the top sometimes. I am not talking about interjections. I am talking about speaking times. We have to change the time allocations in the standing orders or start to pay attention to them.

We go on too long in our speeches, according to standing orders. At lunchtime I did a troll through yesterday's debate. Eleven extensions of time were sought. There were four second extensions. One member-I will not identify him-said, "I want a short extension, please" and then got another extension. There were four second extensions. Worse than that, three members sought leave to speak again. They got up and had their say and then they said, "Can I speak again, please?" Worse than that, one member-although this member does not offend in any capacity, as a rule; he is very good-sought leave to speak again, even though the debate had closed.

Mr Rugendyke: Who was that?

MR WOOD: I will not mention any names, but I give high praise to that member. He does not usually exceed his time. I will go through those figures again: 11 extensions, four second extensions, three leaves to speak again and one leave to speak after the debate had closed. I think that is over the odds. That is just a standard day. That was yesterday. I did a quick count. It could have been more than that. I might have missed some.

Mr Moore: Today was a lot better.

MR WOOD: Today has been a very mixed-up day. I think yesterday was an average day. I just happen to be sitting there and I did a count. One criterion for a good speech is that it finish ahead of time. A good speech needs all sorts of other things too, but that is one criterion. One bad feature is not being able to use your time. We do this persistently without thought. We should say, "I must not go over my time." So let us amend the rules. Let us look at the 10-minute limit. Ten minutes is not very long. Maybe we should extend that to 15 minutes.

Mr Kaine: Ten minutes is long enough.

MR WOOD: I think it is long enough, Mr Kaine, but maybe we could extend it to 15 minutes. I would be worried if members then thought, "I can fill out 15 minutes and still seek an extension." We should absolutely stop second speeches. If you cannot fit


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