Page 1 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 13 February 1990

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Tuesday, 13 February 1990


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 2.30 pm and read the prayer.


MR SPEAKER: I wish to formally advise the Assembly that Mr Tom Duncan has now taken up his appointment as permanent Deputy Clerk of this Assembly. On behalf of all members, welcome.

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Before I call on questions without notice, I wish to make short statement on the conduct of question time. I anticipate that members may intend putting questions to the Executive Deputies. The standing orders of the Assembly provide that questions may be put to Ministers, to the Speaker and to "other members". In each case the relevant standing order specifies what matters Ministers, the Speaker and members can be questioned on.

Standing order 116 provides:

Questions may be put to a member, not being a Minister, relating to any Bill, motion, or other public matter connected with the business of the Assembly, of which the member has charge.

The Chief Minister and three Ministers appointed by him are responsible and answerable to the Assembly for matters of executive administration. As the Chief Minister outlined to the Assembly on 14 December last:

... Ministers will be entirely responsible for all matters in their portfolio in accordance with the Self-Government Act ... Ministers will be responsible in the Assembly for all matters in respect of their portfolios ...

The practice in the House of Representatives, to which we are linked pursuant to standing order 275, has been to impose very strict limitations on questions directed to private members. The questions most often allowed have concerned private members' Bills listed as notices on the notice paper, and care is taken by the Chair to ensure that such a question would not require that member to anticipate debate on the Bill.

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