Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 6 (4 May) . . Page.. 1786..
MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, 118A (a) does not give the member a right to chase a matter up. It gives the member a right to seek an explanation as to why it has not been answered. I would like an explanation as to why it has not been answered.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne, standing order 118A enables you to ask a question in relation to an answer that has not been provided. You have asked the question and the minister has provided you with an explanation about what has happened, that is, it has been signed and it is on its way.
MRS DUNNE: But, Mr Speaker, my point is that 118A (a) actually says that you can ask a minister for an explanation as to why it is late, and to be told it is on its way is not an explanation as to why it is late. This question is now nearly a month overdue and I think a member is entitled to an explanation of why a minister has taken more than a month, over the month already allocated, to answer a question. To say, "I think I might have signed it off and it is probably on the way to you" is not an explanation for why it is late.
MR SPEAKER: I think you have misinterpreted the standing order. The standing order enables you to ask the relevant minister for an explanation.
MRS DUNNE: Yes, and I have not got one. Being told it is on its way is not an explanation.
MR SPEAKER: It is really a matter for you to take on in terms of the standing order, but as far as I am concerned, the minister has provided an explanation.
MRS DUNNE: In that case, Mr Speaker, in accordance with standing order 118A (c), I will move that the Assembly take note of the fact that the minister has failed to provide an explanation as to why question 229 has not been answered.
MR SPEAKER: No, I do not think (c) is open to you, Mrs Dunne. The minister has provided an explanation. The fact that you do not like it is not the point. It is whether he has provided one.
MRS DUNNE: It is not an explanation.
MR SPEAKER: A particular point of view about the adequacy of it is not covered by the standing order. It is not open to you to move a motion pursuant to that standing order.
MRS DUNNE: On the ruling, Mr Speaker-
MR SPEAKER: I think we have dealt with this. I am not going to change my view on this and you are not going to change yours. I think we might as well end it there. That is my ruling. If you want to dissent from it, it is open to you. I am in the hands of the house.