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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 1356..


MR STANHOPE: I will pursue that, Mr Speaker. I am afraid I have not been advised about that. I will pursue it with gusto and I regret the delay.

Bushfires

MR SMYTH: Also under standing order 118A: on Tuesday I asked the Chief Minister whether an answer was forthcoming to a question he had taken on notice in, I believe, February as to a chronology of events on the bushfires. He said that he would get back to us. Again, I am yet to receive the answer to that.

MR STANHOPE Mr Speaker, at the time I said that I would arrange for my office to view the Hansard to see whether I had taken those questions on notice. We have not yet done that, but we will.

Bushfires

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, under standing order 118A: perhaps the Chief Minister will look at the question regarding the time at which the AFP requested the Emergency Services Bureau to put in place a declaration of emergency, because I am yet to receive an answer on that as well.

MR STANHOPE: Yes, I also undertook to search Hansard to see if I did take that question on notice. We will do that in due course.

Standing order 117-ruling by Speaker

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I have a question to you on a ruling you gave during question time. You ruled Mr Pratt's question out of order, citing standing order 117 (e) (i), which says that questions shall not refer to debates that have taken place during that calendar year.

Mr Speaker, I refer you to page 528 of House of Representatives Practice. Under the heading "References to debates and committee proceedings", it says:

References in questions to debates in the current session, concluded or adjourned, are out of order.

I think we would all agree with that. House of Representatives Practice goes on to say:

The rule does not preclude questions on the subject matter of such debates, which may be so broad as to cover, for example, the country's whole foreign policy ...

Mr Speaker, I have checked the nature of Mr Pratt's motion of Wednesday and the motion was basically in four areas in that it talks about the value of an inquiry, the cost of an inquiry, whether the inquiry had worked out what the government would do with a certain amount of money, and whether the inquiry has exacerbated concerns.

Mr Pratt, in his question today, actually asked whether that money is still in the budget, which is an entirely different subject. I would therefore contend, Mr Speaker, that the


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