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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 501..


MR PRATT (continuing):

Mr Stefaniak and Mrs Burke in the party room. They do not need to be documenting their details. They got up and asked their questions on the basis of the briefings issued by Mr Smyth and me.

The next point I would make is that today we have had the Chief Minister denying me the right to make a statement. As we saw with the motion previously debated this afternoon, he gagged the debate. He wants to gag debate because he is damn frightened what information-

MR SPEAKER: Order! You cannot reflect on a vote.

MR PRATT: I withdraw that; I withdraw the word before "frightened". He is frightened of the facts that we put out on the issues which we have substantially raised in this place, issues which go to the heart of illustrating the Chief Minister's and the minister's failure to support the ability of our police to respond in time and to follow up incidents that have occurred. That is the concern that we have. We have a role as an opposition to represent the concerns that the community raises with us. In the discussion that I had with Mrs Hill/Reilly on 27 February at 9.30-

Mr Stanhope: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The motion before the Assembly is that standing orders be suspended. The member really does need to address the motion and not to address the substantive issue that purportedly is behind the moving of the motion for the suspension of standing orders. The motion is that the standing orders be suspended. The member should give some justification for why it is that we should actually abandon an important motion on childcare to allow him to make a statement on a matter at this juncture in the proceedings today.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, you should not use a motion for the suspension of standing orders as a device to deal with the issue which you would want to deal with should the standing orders be suspended.

MR PRATT: I have a question, Mr Speaker. Was I ranging any more broadly than the Chief Minister in his speech? I do not think so. The Chief Minister repeated the points that he made in his motion earlier today. I am ranging no more broadly than the Chief Minister did four minutes ago.

I will finish by saying that we have a right to put out this document. I have a right to table this document. I also have a right to be able to speak to it. The Chief Minister has gagged debate today because he is concerned at what will be coming out. If he was so concerned about the order of business in this place today, why did he run a motion this afternoon? Chief Minister, why did you break up the afternoon?

Mr Stanhope: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think it is important that the member does restrict himself to the motion before the chamber.

MR SPEAKER: I think that it has been a wide-ranging debate. In any event, the member's time has expired.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (5.46): I am amazed that the Chief Minister is saying that this debate is eating into Dr Foskey's time. Indeed, it is and, indeed, the amazing


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