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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (15 March) . . Page.. 635..

Mr Stanhope: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Speaker's ruling

MR SMYTH (Brindabella): Mr Speaker, I seek your ruling. On several occasions during question time Mrs Dunne asked you to address standing order 42, which deals with members rising to address the Speaker. I note that on page 489 of House of Representatives Practice

Mr Stanhope: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The member is not addressing the chair. He is not looking at you, Mr Speaker. He is not addressing the chair.

MR SMYTH: You are actually speaking about the old standing orders that said ministers could not read speeches. They were rejected in 1965.

Mr Stanhope: Address the chair.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, page 489 of House of Representatives Practice states:

As remarks must be addressed to the Chair—

Government members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: I cannot hear what is going on.

Mr Stanhope: That is because he is not addressing the chair.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Chief Minister!

MR SMYTH: Page 489 of House of Representatives Practice states:

As remarks must be addressed to the Chair, it is not in order for a Member to turn his or her back to the Chair and address party colleagues.

Would you please give your interpretation of standing order 42?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I endorse the comments in House of Representatives Practice that you have just read.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, do I take it that you have ruled on the point of order that I raised during the debate and that in future you will require the Chief Minister not to turn his back on you?

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, the standing order is intended to ensure in the first place that members address the chair in all their comments. The reasoning behind that, of course, is to avoid, where possible, the sort of confrontation which plagues this house. If I were to be pedantic about this, with all of the finger pointing that goes on in this house, I would be interfering in almost every debate.

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