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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3749..


The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7

Noes 10

Mrs Burke

Mr Smyth

Mr Barr

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mr Pratt

Dr Foskey

Ms Porter

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Question so resolved in the negative.

Matter of public importance

Ruling by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, a short time ago, Mr Smyth raised a point of order about my decision in relation to today's matter of public importance. He raised it in a way which suggested there was some sort of contrast between my decision in relation to a MPI submitted by Ms Porter and those submitted by a number of members from the opposition today. Regrettably, I could not recall the Porter matter, but I have refreshed myself in relation to it, and I think it needs to be clarified.

I must say I was inclined to rule out of order the matter raised by Ms Porter but, after discussions with the Clerk and referral to House of Representatives Practice, my attention was drawn to the growing practice of allowing amendments on the issue where matters are not definite. The issue of the MPI that was put forward today is quite different.

Standing order 130 is a protection for members. Mr Smyth would be congratulating me today if it were a Labor member who put forward an MPI such as that which was put forward by the opposition and I ruled it out on this standing order, as I would have, because it prevents members from gazumping discussion on matters which other members have on the notice paper. That is the contrast which makes the situations quite different. In the case of Ms Porter's matter, the growing practice is that amendment is allowed. In the case of anticipation, I take the view that it is an important protection of members. As I said, I deal with these on merit and I deal with them even-handedly.

Protection of Public Participation Bill 2008

Debate resumed from 9 April 2008, on motion by DR FOSKEY:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (12.00): As members will be aware, this bill is designed to protect public participation and discourage the use of strategic litigation against public participation—SLAPP suits, as they are sometimes known.


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