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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 1681..


Tuesday, 21 August 2007

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional owners, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Petition

The following petition was lodged for presentation, by Mr Pratt, from 425 residents:

Tharwa bridge

To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory

This petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the attention of the Assembly that the public safety and security of residents of Tharwa has unduly been put at risk by the closure of the Tharwa Bridge.

Your petitioners therefore request that the Assembly act to ensure that a formal request is made immediately to the Commonwealth Government for assistance in the installation of a temporary low level crossing at Tharwa.

The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petition would be recorded in Hansard and a copy referred to the appropriate minister, the petition was received.

Privilege

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, on 29 June and 3 July 2007, Mr Pratt gave written notice of a possible breach of privilege concerning certain aspects of the conduct of Mr Hargreaves, the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, when he appeared before the Select Committee on Estimates 2007-08 on the afternoon of 26 June 2007, as well as the minister's practice of only following up on matters raised by Mr Pratt if the names and addresses of constituents are provided. I present a copy of Mr Pratt's two letters for the information of members, along with my interim response.

Under the provisions of standing order 71, I must determine as soon as practicable whether or not the matter merits precedence over other business. If, in my opinion, the matter does merit precedence, I must inform the Assembly of the decision and the member who raised the matter may move a motion without notice and forthwith to refer the matter to a select committee appointed by the Assembly for that purpose. If, in my opinion, the matter does not merit precedence, I must inform the member in writing and may also inform the Assembly of the decision. I am not required to judge whether there has been a breach of privilege or a contempt of the Assembly. I can only judge whether the matter merits precedence.

In accordance with the practice of the House of Representatives, I decided to write, on 24 July 2007, to the Chair of the Select Committee on Estimates 2007-08 in order to


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