Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 3 Hansard (20 March) . .
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
Absence of Clerk
Madam Speaker informed the Assembly that, due to the absence of the Clerk, the Deputy Clerk would act as Clerk.
Matters of public importance
Statement by Speaker
MADAM SPEAKER: This morning a proposed matter of public importance was lodged on "the importance of freedom of the press and of a strong, independent media to our democracy". House of Representatives Practice, fifth edition, at page 578 stipulates that matters submitted must be definite—that is, simple, specific and precise in their wording. It also requires the Speaker to have regard to the extent to which the matter concerns the administrative responsibilities of ministers. Similarly, the companion states that the Speaker must take into account whether the matter submitted is within the scope of ministerial responsibilities.
Accordingly, I have ruled that the matter proposed did not fall within the scope of ministerial responsibility and, in accordance with standing order 136, that proposal was not included in the ballot for the MPI today.
In addition, two proposals were returned to the relevant members prior to the ballot as there were inaccuracies in the documents, in that the dates were wrong. One was from the last sitting and one was pre-dated. Can I remind members, when framing their matters for submission, to have regard to those two matters.
Chief Minister—relations with the media
Statement by minister
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (10.03), by leave: On 8 March 2018 I attended a function held here in the reception room of the Legislative Assembly, entitled "Meet the creative services panel". This was an event organised by the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate communications team in order to present to a successful panel of communications industry businesses—most of whom were local, I note—the government's communications and engagement strategy.
At that event I provided what was a frank and sometimes robust assessment of communications, government communications, and the state of the media market in