Page 2 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 13 February 1990

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Questions without notice of a strictly limited nature may also be addressed to the presiding member of a committee. Standing orders in the House of Representatives specifically exclude questions being put to assistant Ministers, and there is at least one precedent where a question directed to a parliamentary undersecretary was ruled out of order, even though it concerned a matter relating directly to his work.

I therefore propose, subject to any direction of the Assembly or any change to the structure of the Ministry, that questions directed to members, in their capacity as Executive Deputies, will be ruled out of order. I also propose to continue to call members to ask questions as they rise, but where possible to allocate the call to ensure equal participation between and across parties.


Executive Deputies

MS FOLLETT: My question is addressed to Mr Kaine. Mr Kaine, given that you are required by section 41(1) of the ACT (Self-Government) Act 1988 to appoint three Ministers, and three only, are you able to explain under what legal authority you have appointed Executive Deputies?

MR KAINE: I think that the Leader of the Opposition is under some kind of misapprehension. I do not believe that I need any legal authority whatsoever to appoint a member of the Government to assist a Minister of the Government. The arrangements that have been set in place are quite clear and explicit. These people are appointed to assist the Minister; to advise him, where it is within their capacity to do so; to carry out certain functions delegated to them by the Minister. It is quite legal and legitimate, and we have had a legal opinion on this from within the Law Office of the ACT Government. There is no requirement for any legal or legislative backing for the appointment of these people.

Adult Video Industry

MR STEVENSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Did the Chief Minister acknowledge the will of the large gathering outside the Assembly to ban pornographic videos?

MR KAINE: Yes, I was well aware of the meeting that took place outside the Assembly today, and I noted with interest that there are so many people in this community who are concerned about the free availability of X- and R-rated video material in the ACT, and also the fact that it is freely available for distribution in other places in Australia where currently the distribution is illegal.

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