Page 1537 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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Thursday, 2 June 2022

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) (10.01): Members:

Dhawura nguna, dhawura Ngunnawal.

Yanggu ngalawiri, dhunimanyin Ngunnawalwari dhawurawari.

Nginggada Dindi dhawura Ngunnaawalbun yindjumaralidjinyin.

The words I have just spoken are in the language of the traditional custodians and translate to:

This is Ngunnawal Country.

Today we are gathering on Ngunnawal Country.

We always pay respect to Elders, female and male, and Ngunnawal Country.

Members, I ask you to stand in silence and pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Legislative Assembly—conduct

Statement by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, I wish to make a statement about the conduct of Ms Lee, following her suspension from the Assembly on Wednesday, 1 June 2022. Members will recall that, following her numerous interjections and several warnings, I named Ms Lee in question time, under standing order 202, for persistently and wilfully disregarding the authority of the chair. Following the passage of the motion to suspend the member, Ms Lee was suspended for three sitting hours.

My attention has been drawn to a social media post from Ms Lee, which stated:

Today I was thrown out of the chamber during question time for continuing to hold the Labor-Greens government to account.

As set out at page 74 of the Companion to the Standing Orders, it is not in order to criticise or reflect on the actions of the chair, and the Speaker’s actions can only be criticised by way of a substantive motion. That section of the Companion outlines several precedents where the Speaker has considered an accusation of partiality in the discharge of duties of the chair, both inside and outside the chamber, and has asked that the reflection be withdrawn.

Having considered Ms Lee’s social media post, I am of the view that it implies that I suspended the Leader of the Opposition simply for holding the government to account, rather than for offending against the relevant standing order. This, to me, is a clear reflection on the actions of the chair. When Ms Lee finishes her suspension from the Assembly later this morning, I will ask Ms Lee to withdraw any reflection, on her return to the chamber, and to remove any post from social media by midday today.

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