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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3031..


Mr Corbell: On a point of order: standing order 116 states that questions may be put to ministers or any other member in relation to matters that they are responsible for. As far as I am aware, Mr Stefaniak is not responsible for the issue of a bill of rights. Secondly, standing order 117 (c) says, "Questions shall not ask Ministers for an expression of opinion." I would argue that the minister has been asked for an expression of opinion about the Labor Party's policy in relation to a bill of rights. Therefore, the question is out of order.

Mr Hird: On a point of order: I take it that our good colleague has left a bit out of standing order 116. Questions may be put to a member, not being a minister, relating to any bill, motion or any other public matter connected with the business of the house. So, 116 does not apply and, as for 117 (c) (i), I did not ask him for an expression of opinion.

Mr Humphries: On the point of order as well: the question did not ask about Labor Party policies, and Mr Corbell was wrong in-

Mr Wood: Of course it did!

Mr Humphries: No it didn't. I am sure Mr Hird would be happy-

Mr Hargreaves: He mentioned it!

Mr Humphries: He might have responded by answering about it, but there was no question about it. Mr Speaker, as to a general discussion about a bill of rights, the question of the enforcement of legal rights in the ACT is a matter, first and foremost, for the Attorney-General of the territory.

MR SPEAKER: The question did not ask about the Labor Party or its policy. It asked about a bill of rights, which falls within the area of the Attorney-General, whoever that may be.

Mr Corbell: So, in answering his question, he is not going to refer to the Labor Party. Is that right?

MR SPEAKER: I would imagine that there is no point in doing so, because the question did not relate to it. It did ask about a bill of rights.

Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Corbell still confuses questions. There are standing orders about questions, which you will find under standing orders leading up to 117, and there standing orders which apply to answers, which you will find at 118.

MR SPEAKER: Please continue, Mr Stefaniak. You are aware of the concerns of the house.

MR STEFANIAK: Absolutely. The idea of a bill of rights is interesting. One could ask where it in fact came from. Where are all the citizens of the ACT banging down our doors wanting such a bill to be put before the house? I would say that the ordinary voter in the ACT has absolutely no interest in a bill of rights. There is no infringement of citizens' liberties in the ACT. There has been no outcry in the territory about liberties,


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