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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 6 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1854..


MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (12.27), in reply: I am surprised by the way this debate has played out today. I was presenting this report on behalf of the administration and procedures committee into what I think members would have expected to be a normal procedural matter, and that is the reason I did not support the adjournment. The standing order is about giving ordinary citizens a right of reply when they have been discussed in the Assembly and they feel they have been materially adversely commented on.

The committee fulfilled its function under the standing order. It formed a view that Mr Gardner had a right of reply and then it scrutinised his response to ensure that it met the standing orders and the requirements of the Assembly, as the committee is required to do. Paragraph (6) of the continuing resolution, as I touched on in noting the committee's report today, underlines the fact that the committee does not in considering a submission under the resolution consider or judge the truth of any statements made in the Assembly or the submission. That is one part of its function. The point of the provision is that citizens should simply have a right of response in the Assembly. In my view, this is an entirely procedural step once the admin and procedures committee has formed a view that the reply complies with the requirements of the Assembly.

We know that is how it has worked in this place on previous occasions, and I think that is why members are surprised by this debate. In the time I have been in this place my experience is that once the administration and procedures committee looks at a matter, it just comes in here and that is the way it goes. But we did not even get the basic courtesy this morning of being told by Mr Hanson that he wanted to consider this. If Mr Hanson had said, "Look, I actually want some time to consider this,"we could have looked at the precedents and thought about it. But we did not even get that courtesy.

Mr Hanson: I hadn't seen it.

MR RATTENBURY: You knew it was coming, Mr Hanson; it is listed on the blue. Members knew it was coming. If people had a genuine issue where they knew they were doing something that was outside the normal form of this place, the basic courtesy of advising of that in advance would have been welcome.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Response incorporated at appendix 1

MADAM SPEAKER: I will point out for the information of members that the blue actually says that the report be noted. That may have led to some misunderstanding about what was going to happen today.


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