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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1217..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

clauses generally active in Pialligo. I would urge the Minister for Urban Services and the lease compliance section of PALM to be a little more rigorous in the application of compliance in this matter. If it is not stopped, then it sets a very dangerous precedent for other business activity in Pialligo which is clearly inconsistent with the purpose outlined in the Territory Plan.

I am very pleased to admit I have met Mr Wood's limit in finishing in under four minutes.

Standing orders

MR HIRD (6.02): Mr Speaker, I am delighted to rise. As a Temporary Deputy Speaker in this place in the last parliament and this one, I was delighted to hear Mr Wood, the Deputy Speaker, address some of the problems with standing orders and the approach that we as legislators have taken in respect of them. The pressure on the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker or Temporary Deputy Speakers is not understood by all members in this chamber, because they have not the honour of sitting where you are today, Mr Speaker.

I was delighted to see Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker Berry spend some time in the chair today and get a feel for the position. On previous occasions he has sat in the chair, but only for less than five minutes. Today he took the chair with dignity and with some vigour. He acquitted himself-I am sure the leader of the house would agree with me-in a very dignified manner. I must compliment Mr Berry.

I am sure Mr Berry got an understanding of the problems experienced by the occupant of the chair. It is not an easy job. You rely on your knowledge of standing orders but also the ability for the secretariat to channel information to you. It does take some time, and pressure is always on the person who sits where you are.

In closing within Mr Wood's time limit, I think standing orders have done us well over the years. But this is our twelfth year, and the next parliament may be time for a revision of standing orders to see how we can streamline them not only for debates but for other matters too. Members will recall a number of outstanding matters in respect of standing orders and the workings of committees.

Committees are a vital part of this parliament. They are more important than in any other parliament within the Commonwealth because we do not have a municipality and we do not have three tiers of government. We have only this place to represent 300,000 people in two jurisdictions. The committee structure is very vital to the good running of this parliament.

Hare-Clark electoral system-women candidates

MRS BURKE (6.05): I would like to reflect upon the so-called "amazingly negative and divisive and aggressive question", to use my colleague Mr Stanhope's words, that was asked by me of the Chief Minister. Mr Stanhope asked what the Liberal Party's strategy for electing women to the Assembly was. For the record, the Liberal Party has a very clear strategy: affirmative action for all of its candidates. Indeed, the Liberal Party would be happy to discuss this issue with the Canberra Times should they ask. As I understand it, they have not to date asked us.


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