Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 4099..
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.52): I seek leave to move a motion authorising the report for publication.
MR SMYTH: I move:
That the report be authorised for publication.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MR SMYTH: I move:
That the report be adopted.
This report is in two volumes and is the culmination of almost four years of work by this committee and its predecessor in the Fifth Assembly. It is a comprehensive review of the standing orders since they were first adopted in May 1989.
The committee first sought submissions from interested parties in mid-2005, and received four submissions. In addition, it invited all members to attend a roundtable meeting which was held on 26 September 2006, which a number of members attended and at which much conversation was had. The roundtable discussions were a useful exercise, and assisted tremendously in the formulation of the committee's final report. The committee has recommended a total of 177 changes to the standing orders and other orders of the Assembly. Many of the changes are simply stylistic or designed to improve the readability of the document.
Some of the more significant suggested changes are: that the name of the standing orders be changed, ever so slightly, to "standing orders and continuing resolutions of the Assembly"; to change the title of "temporary deputy speaker", which members seem to have difficulty with from time to time, to "assistant speaker"; a requirement that, when leave of absence is given by the Assembly, a reason is given for the absence; the creation of a separate chapter in the standing orders on the subject of privilege; allowing the Speaker the discretion to stop the speech time clocks; inserting a requirement for ministers to respond to every petition lodged within three months; inserting a requirement that if a notice on the notice paper is not moved in the chamber within eight sitting weeks of it being lodged, it will be removed; allowing a bill to be referred to a committee before the agreement in principle is agreed to; the adoption as a standing order of the resolution about the financial initiative of the Crown that was first agreed to in 1995; inserting in the standing orders the longstanding practice of committees being able to self-refer matters for inquiry and report; changing the title of presiding member of a committee to "chair"; omitting the standing order which would allow a prisoner to be brought before a committee under a Speaker's warrant, which will curtail some of the Speaker's power but of course will now not allow us to ask Mr David Harold Eastman to join us; the inclusion of an adverse mention procedure in the standing orders to give protection to witnesses appearing before Assembly committees; amending the citizens' right to reply