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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3811..


MS HUNTER (continuing):

we are pleased that this innovation has been brought forward. The proposed changes are not necessarily dramatic changes to the way we run question time. We think that it is worth giving it a go to see if question time can become more dynamic and constitute more of a dialogue than, as we sometimes get, a monologue.

While the changes may impose a constraint on some members, the discipline that changes impose will ensure that the members engage in debate more actively and monitor questions and answers closely, rather than drifting off or disrupting the Assembly while questions which we have come to know as dorothy dixers are answered at length.

The new standing orders may take some time to get used to and perhaps be a challenge for the Speaker, but in due course they may improve engagement in question time. We look forward to trying out these new changes to make question time more effective.

We support the motion that has been put forward today.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (11.52): I would like to agree with the comments of Ms Hunter but add my own reflections as a comparatively new member of the Assembly. In question time I have been struck by how much of the time is spent on what could be described as political argy-bargy or things which are really just totally irrelevant. The standing of the Assembly and the usefulness of the Assembly will go up if we improve our processes. I support this as a way of improving question time, as a way of making questions more relevant and as a way of spending more time on substance and less time on irrelevant, political argy-bargy.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.54), in reply: In closing I would like to thank members for their support for this amendment. I note the observations, particularly from Mr Corbell, about the need to monitor this. That is entirely appropriate. Mrs Dunne has suggested that we do that through the administration and procedures committee; that is potentially a useful way but, as Speaker, my door is always open to anybody that has concerns—to come down and have a conversation. I am quite open to further tweaking should that prove to be needed down the line. Otherwise, I thank members and I look forward to seeing how this goes.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Territory plan—variation 288

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (11.54): I move:

That this Assembly, in accordance with section 80 of the Planning and Development Act 2007, rejects new rule R27A of the Residential Zones Multi Unit Housing Development Code Part A(5), Item 2.1, Height inserted by Variation No 288 to the Territory Plan.

Last week the minister tabled variation No 288 of the territory plan regarding zoning changes for the old Burnie Court site in Lyons. As I stated last week, in general I support the variation, and this includes allowing an increase in the zoning density and


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