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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . .

Page.. 3238..

she would reject that deal. We want to see confirmation that that is her position. That is what the question goes to, and the minister is not answering it. It is a very simple yes, she will accept it, or no she will not.

Mr Corbell: On the point of order—

MADAM SPEAKER: On the point of order, Mr Corbell.

Mr Corbell: Madam Speaker, Ms Burch has been on her feet for 15 seconds. She is explaining her position. She is entitled to do that and she is remaining relevant to the question.

MADAM SPEAKER: On the point of order, the standing orders require that the answer shall be concise and directly relevant to the subject matter of the question. The subject matter of the question is about the chaplaincy program, and the question was: will you accept the offer currently on the table, or words to that effect. Minister Burch, whilst you are entitled to put some context around it, could I ask you to come to the point and directly answer the question.

Mr Corbell: On your ruling, Madam Speaker, what period of time is sufficient to be concise, given that Minister Burch has had 15 seconds so far to endeavour to be concise? Is there some limit on her capacity to be concise before you will rule that she must come to the definitive point of the question?

MADAM SPEAKER: I think we have had enough discussion on the point of order. I have acknowledged that the minister has the right to put some context around it, but I also draw members' attention to the fact that standing order 118 specifically says that the answer shall be concise and directly relevant to the question. I am giving Minister Burch some leeway, at the same time reminding her of what the standing orders say, and remembering that this is a supplementary question and that there are two minutes in which to answer the question. I am not going to set a rule that says there are 37½ seconds allowed for context. I am not going to do that. Neither you, Mr Corbell, nor anyone else in this place is going to encourage me to go down that path.

Mr Corbell: No, I do not want you to, Madam Speaker. I am simply seeking guidance.

MADAM SPEAKER: I call the minister.

MS BURCH: Thank you, Madam Speaker, Mr Doszpot and those indeed who have put out the call to arms to have members arrive in this place and for Mr Doszpot to have an audience for his question. As I have read to you, we have said—

MADAM SPEAKER: I will remind you of the standing orders, Minister Burch. I will ask you to be directly relevant.

MS BURCH: I am, Madam Speaker. As I have indicated, the government is willing to participate in the chaplaincy program and I still stand by the proposition that secular welfare workers be included. What we have is 56 positions in the ACT, 56

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