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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 May 1995) . . Page.. 316 ..


Ms Follett: Another press release.

MR HUMPHRIES: I said that. If you were paying attention you might have heard me say that. It was a press release. Mr Speaker, I do not have the press release with me. All I have is an extract from the press release. I am very happy to table the full press release later on when it comes to attention; but I will warn the Opposition that this does change the rules under which we have operated in this place. I am not reading from the press release; I am reading from a part of my brief.

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, I have no requirement for Mr Humphries to table his brief. Indeed, he would obviously be quite lost without it. But he quoted extensively from a document which was not provided by his public servants; hence I am not asking him to change the rules, as he refers to them - it is more of a convention. I am not asking for that to be changed. He quoted from a document that was not provided by way of briefing from his public servants but was a separate document, and I would like him to table that separate document.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I still maintain that this is a breach of the agreement entered into between the parties in the past that they should be able to quote from documents. However, it is not in breach of any standing orders, so the Speaker may well rule on this as a favour.

MR SPEAKER: Order! There has certainly been a protocol, I suppose, that we did not ask people to table briefing notes from which they were reading. I would hope that this ThirdAssembly would adhere to that arrangement. If it is the wish of the Assembly not to do so, then I would want something a little more definite. At the moment, I believe that that protocol has continued. If Mr Humphries was quoting from advice received from his officers, and I can only ask him whether he was, then I believe that he is under no requirement to table the information.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I do make the point that I understand that standing orders refer to tabling documents from which a person is reading. I was not reading from Mr O'Brien's press release; I was reading from my brief. It therefore seems to me that under the standing orders I can be required to table only what I am reading from. However, I am perfectly willing to table the document. I said that, and in fact I now do so. I have received it, and I table this document.

Mr Moore: That is a press release, is it?

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, it is a media release from Southside Weather Watch.

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, on that point, I think Mr Humphries is being deliberately provocative and opportunist here. I have not asked him to table his brief. I have asked him to table the press release, and in doing so I have in no way altered the convention that has applied in this place.


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