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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3053..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

five-minute speech, we went into a long, drawn-out process. What we have had today is Mr Pratt seeking to make a brief statement. Of course, with the lack of grace that we have seen from the Stanhope government we cannot have Mr Pratt making a brief statement, so we have to go through this 15-minute rigmarole of seeking to suspend standing orders.

It is a normal courtesy of this place that when a member stands in their place and seeks leave to make a statement they are afforded leave. But what we have seen here with the Stanhope government this week is an absolute abuse of the normal courtesies of this place. That ends up wasting the time of the Assembly. It could have all been over, red rover, except that the government will not afford the opposition the courtesies of this place, and this is why we have to suspend standing orders and cut into the time, as we did yesterday, that the Chief Minister thinks is so precious for executive business.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (3.47): Mr Speaker, I am pleased to speak in support of this motion. Here we have a situation where a member is being accused of defaming people. He has been told he has been threatened with a motion to force him to table documents, and he is seeking to use the procedures of the house to address the matters raised. They would go beyond, I suspect, the simple case of misrepresentation, although that has also appeared to have occurred, but I think it is not unreasonable that Mr Pratt should be allowed to put forward whatever information he has.

The Chief Minister says that unless there is documentary evidence then there is no evidence. But Mr Pratt may have other information, and documentary evidence is not the only form of evidence that is available to support the view that he is putting. I am certainly very keen to hear what he has to say. I think the house ought to allow him to have that opportunity, and then we can get on to the other issues that the Chief Minister seems so determined to pursue today.

Question put:

That Mr Pratt's motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6

Noes 8

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Dr Foskey

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Corbell

Ms Porter

Mr Pratt

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Question so resolved in the negative.

Personal explanation

MR PRATT (Brindabella): Mr Speaker, I want to make a statement under standing order 46, for clarification.

MR SPEAKER: In what respect?

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