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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3807..


MR BARR (continuing):

provides that, if there is no determination about the payment of a lease, the market value of the lease is payable as a lump sum. I commend the bill to the Assembly. Given its complexity, I make the offer now of briefings from the Planning and Land Authority for both the opposition and the Greens' spokespeople on this matter.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Legislative Assembly—question time

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.38): I move:

That the following standing orders be amended to take effect from the September 2009 sittings:

(1) Standing order 113B, add the following:

"The Speaker may allow two further supplementary questions from other non-Executive Members, provided that the questions are relevant to the original question or the answers given".

(2) Omit standing order 118(c) (but not the subsequent words), substitute:

"(c) shall, in the case of the original question, be not longer than four minutes in length, and in the case of any supplementary question asked, not longer than two minutes in length. The Speaker may, at his/her discretion, order that the clock be stopped".

As Speaker, I have brought this proposed reform to question time to seek an incremental improvement in the way that we conduct question time in the Legislative Assembly. I will speak briefly to the content of the proposal and some of the rationale for it.

In very simple terms, we know our current model—one question, five minutes, and a supplementary, and five minutes. Overall, I propose to increase not the amount of time allocated to question time, but rather the number of questions that can be asked. Under my proposal the model would be that each member was able to ask a question and a supplementary; then there would be a possibility for two further members—any members of the chamber—to ask further supplementary questions on the same question or the same topic already being discussed in the original question. It would sit with the Speaker to have the discretion to call those members and to find an even-handed manner of making sure that there is even representation across the chamber of those that ask the further supplementary questions.

Mr Barr: Unlike some assistant speakers, you will be able to look on both sides.

MR RATTENBURY: The Speaker will try to give an even-handed call across the chamber to ensure that there is a fair representation there.

I point out that I propose that it start not today but in September so that we have a couple of weeks to sit around and discuss how this might work and for me as the Speaker to talk with the parties to clarify any uncertainty about how this may operate.


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