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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 4058..

Legislative Assembly-cost of sitting

(Question No 341)

Mr Cornwell asked the Speaker, upon notice:

(1) What was the cost of the night sitting 19:50 - 21:50 hours of 13 November 2002

(2) Why was the decision taken to extend the sitting into the evening, given that we only had one unfinished and two further notices to debate

(3) Was consideration given to extend the afternoon session from 18.00 to 19.00 hours to complete the business at (2) and if so, why was this cost saving measure rejected.

Mr Speaker: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The cost of the sitting was $961, which is made up of overtime for Secretariat officers required to work, meal allowances and cabcharges, and energy costs. In addition an amount of $1300 for recording, transcribing and editing the Hansard was another cost incurred. There may have been other costs incurred in ministerial offices.

(2) I understand that the decision to extend the sitting into the evening was taken following consultation by the whips. Before the suspension of the sitting at 6pm, in accordance with normal practice, I sought the views of the Assembly in the following terms:

"I understand that it is the wish of the Assembly to break for the evening meal break. That being the case the Chair will be resumed at 7.30pm"

As no member objected, the dinner break was taken.

(3) As the decision to extend the sitting into the evening was taken by the whips in consultation with other members, I am unable to answer that part of your question.

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