Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3298 ..
party. A former staff member of the CFMMEU and member of your backbench is reported to have quit the right faction of your party and has stated that joining the left faction is a "live option". Chief Minister, will you assure the Canberra community that members of your government are not disproportionally influenced by the union movement?
MADAM SPEAKER: I refer members to House of Representatives Practice, page 554:
The underlying principle is that Ministers are required to answer questions ... Consequently Speakers have ruled out of order questions or parts of questions to Ministers which concern, for example:
statements, activities, actions or decisions of a Minister's own party (including party or party/union activities which may have had some connection to a Minister), or of its conferences, officials, representatives or candidates, or of those of other parties, including opposition parties ...
There is a line of questioning that came out in the supplementary from Mr Coe, and also from Ms Lawder. I would invite you to restate your question, noting that I am going to apply these out-of-order boundaries. If you want to, for the sake of—
Mr Wall: On your ruling, Madam Speaker, the question was specifically, after the preamble: will the Chief Minister assure the Canberra community that members of your government are not disproportionally influenced by the union movement? The question is specifically around the undue influence on members within the government or the governing party, and the Chief Minister is the leader of that party.
MADAM SPEAKER: My comments just then, with reference to this, are consistent with it being ruled out of order. I will also give the Chief Minister the opportunity to answer, should he like, but I refer members of the opposition—
Mr Wall: It's in order or it's not, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: I have said that I will rule it out of order from here, and when Ms Lawder stands to ask her supplementary, she should consider the language of the supplementary. Chief Minister, do you wish to answer that first question?
MR BARR: Madam Speaker, I am happy to answer the question in the affirmative. Yes, I can assure the people of Canberra that ministers and members of this Assembly act in the best interests of the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, to what extent is the government's legislative agenda being dictated by the powerful left faction membership of your party, i.e. the union movement?
MR BARR: The government's legislative program is being dictated by the commitments we took to the people of Canberra in 2016.