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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 3 Hansard (27 February) . . Page.. 793..


MADAM SPEAKER: I did not say that. I said that you should be relevant to the motion.

MR BARR: I am, Madam Speaker. In my opening remarks I am coming to the first two points. In choosing not to stop the clock, you have denied me three minutes of speaking opportunity. I hope that that same principle applies to frivolous points of order, when I am sure I will be interrupted again, when all I am seeking to do is advise the Assembly of the words of the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Madam Speaker—and I would be very happy for you to stop the clock.

MADAM SPEAKER: I will stop the clock. Could we stop the clock.

Mr Seselja: I would just make the point that in his statements there—and I do not want to deny him time, and I am happy for the clock to be stopped—Mr Barr seemed to be critical of you for not stopping the clock. I understand that you have put in place procedures where people can ask for the clock to be stopped. I understand that most of the time that is adhered to when that is asked for. I do not think it is appropriate for Mr Barr to be suggesting that you have been denying him time when he could have asked for the clock to be stopped when points of order were being made.

MADAM SPEAKER: Actually, on the subject of the stopping of the clock—

Mr Corbell interjecting—

Ms Gallagher interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: If you would stop interjecting, Mr Corbell and Ms Gallagher, what I have actually said is that it is at the discretion of the Speaker. What I wanted to avoid was a whole swag of people calling out, "Stop the clock, stop the clock,"to the clerks. I perhaps should have stopped the clock but it did not cross my mind, but if Mr Barr had politely drawn it to my attention I would have stopped the clock. What I was trying to do was stop the chorus of "stop the clock"around the chamber. We will work with this. I do not want a chorus singing out, but if a member wants to draw my attention to the fact that the clock is running down and I have missed it, I will act on a polite and quiet reference of that kind.

On this occasion it was not drawn to my attention, and it was not the thing that was uppermost in my mind. What I am saying is that if someone is making a point of order, that is probably uppermost in my mind, and we will find a way of doing this in a sort of quiet and polite way. For instance, Mr Barr could have said it—and I make it very clear now that members can say quietly, "Could we stop the clock, please, Madam Speaker?"—and I will be happy to do so.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker, for your guidance in relation to that matter. Returning to my observations on progressive politics, we have the stated position of the Leader of the Opposition in his inaugural speech that his vision is for a vibrant,


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