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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 910..


MR BERRY (continuing):

when the then leader of the Labor Party expressed a want of confidence or expressed some questions about the Speaker and the Speaker resigned, but that was principally because he lost the confidence of his Labor colleagues, I think, more so than the chamber.

Mr Speaker, if Labor ever wants to get ourselves a new Speaker we will move a motion of no confidence in the Speaker. There is no question about that. We believe we have the right to do that. But we also believe in the authority of the Speaker in this place. If the Speaker does not have clear authority, this place cannot proceed in an orderly way. So, as I said, that is why we invited the government to move a motion of confidence in this place. I have no doubt that it will pass and the Speaker's authority will be without question until the matter is raised again.

One matter that I said I would refer to is the exercise of the freedom of speech. I refer to the resolution of the Assembly of 4 May 1995 which states:

That the Assembly considers that, in speaking in the Assembly or in a committee, Members should take the following matters into account:

(a) the need to exercise their valuable right of freedom of speech in a responsible manner;

(b) the damage that may be done by allegations made in the Legislative Assembly to those who are the subject of such allegations and to the standing of the Legislative Assembly;

(c) the limited opportunities for persons other than members of the Legislative Assembly to respond to allegations made in the Legislative Assembly;

(d) the need for Members, while fearlessly performing their duties, to have regard to the rights of others ....

I need not go on. Members know which motion I am referring to. That probably had an appropriate place in the course of the answering of the question which was the trigger for the events which led us to the motions which are before the house today.

Mr Speaker, I take the view that Labor's support of Mr Kaine in relation to that matter was quite appropriate. Yes, I think it does undermine the authority of the Speaker and I believe there was a good reason for it. It was a shot across the bows. It is now appropriate that we go to a motion of confidence and that this house then determines its support or otherwise for the Speaker. This is an appropriate course. Without saying any more in relation to the matter, Mr Speaker, I will now seek leave, if I may, to move the motion which has been circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

Administration and Procedure-Standing Committee

Reference

MR BERRY (11.58): I also seek the leave of members to include in paragraph (1) of that motion, after the word "motion" on the first line, "and Mr Kaine's amendments".


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