Page 2633 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 1991

Next page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

Tuesday, 13 August 1991


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

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, before we go to questions, I would like to make a statement. Members will recall that on Thursday, 8 August 1991, Mr Collaery asked me a question without notice calling upon me to investigate whether, having regard to section 14 of the self-government Act, Mr Moore has taken an allowance, a reward or some payment, directly or indirectly, in relation to services outside the determinations made by the Remuneration Tribunal under section 73 of the Act. In effect, Mr Collaery was asking me for a legal opinion on the interpretation of the self-government Act.

I draw members' attention to standing order 117(c)(iii), which states:

Questions shall not ask ... for a legal opinion.

I also draw members' attention to page 228 of House of Representatives Practice, second edition, which states:

Speakers have generally taken the view that, with the exception of determination of points of procedure between the two Houses, the obligation to interpret the Constitution does not rest with the Chair ...

Having considered the matter, I do not think I should answer the question and establish the precedent of having the Speaker giving a legal opinion on the operation of the self-government Act or interpreting a question of law. An exception to this practice could be where I was acting as a custodian of the privileges of the Assembly or ruling in relation to the operation of certain standing orders of the Assembly. Furthermore, the subject of the question does not come within any matter of administration for which the Speaker is responsible, as set out in standing order 115.

Next page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .