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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5664..


Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker: in her speech today, Mrs Dunne has cast a range of aspersions against me and now against you. The motion does not name me or you specifically by name. I am just seeking your guidance, Mr Assistant Speaker, as to whether or not—

Mr Smyth: No, he is just going to keep interrupting. Could we stop the clock, please?

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Stop the clock.

Mr Corbell: If Mrs Dunne wishes to make such aspersions, she needs to move a substantive motion that does so explicitly, rather than this cowardly and unprecedented use of Assembly business to try and move some sort of quasi-censure against me and you. I think it is contrary to the standing orders and I seek your guidance on it.

Mr Seselja: On the point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker: the motion that is being moved by Mrs Dunne today is a fairly broad-ranging one and we have always had broad-ranging debates in this place. If there are specific examples that Mrs Dunne uses to back up the rationale for the motion, that is well within order and that is completely relevant to the motion. I would also ask you to draw Mr Corbell's attention to the use of language in the Assembly. Calling Mrs Dunne a coward is unparliamentary. I would ask you to ask him to withdraw.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: On the question of Mr Corbell's point of order, I would remind members to reacquaint themselves with the standing orders regarding imputations against members. I ask Mrs Dunne to be very careful as to where she proceeds from here because I will actually have to call her to order. I think you are getting very close to the mark. I think that Mr Corbell has a valid point. I would just remind members of the standing orders and seek that you reacquaint yourselves with them.

On the question of Mr Seselja's point of order, I think that is really pushing the boat out a bit. I think that particular word has been used in this chamber in the middle of debates on a number of occasions.

Mr Seselja: Okay.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Assistant Speaker, on that point of order, yesterday the Chief Minister was asked to withdraw the same word.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: In that case, thank you very much, Mrs Dunne. Mr Corbell, I ask you to withdraw.

Mr Corbell: Mr Assistant Speaker, on the point of order: I did not call Mrs Dunne a coward. I said that the attack was cowardly. However, if Mrs Dunne is sensitive on the matter, and I accept that she is, I withdraw the comment.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you very much, minister. Mrs Dunne, I guess that if you have had time to reacquaint yourself with the standing orders, that is good.


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