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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 4 March 2004) . . Page.. 758 ..

Personal explanation

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (3.35): Mr Speaker, I am always willing to accept an offer from you to make a personal statement under standing order 46. The point I simply wish to make is that the Chief Minister used the word ‘tapped’. That is not a word that has been used before.

MR SPEAKER: The point I am trying to make to you, Mr Smyth, is that you have to relate it to personal circumstances. That is an issue which is a point of debate.

MR SMYTH: I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave not granted.

Suspension of standing and temporary orders

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (3.36): I move—

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent me making a statement.

It was always a courtesy and a convention that members would be given the opportunity to speak in a reasonable way. I do not want to use too much time but am happy to take as much time as is afforded to me to put the case that, since we have had a bill of rights brought into this place, the rights of members seem to be more and more constricted.

During that debate there was an opportunity given when Mrs Dunne wanted to add something. It is normally a courtesy extended and most people do not abuse it. I do not believe it has been abused at all in the life of this Assembly and I think it is a reasonable point. The Chief Minister has used a word that I believe needs explanation; I have taken up an opportunity that is afforded to members to seek to make a statement; and the government has said, “No; we do not want to hear your explanation.” Therefore it is reasonable to suspend standing orders for that to occur.

Question put:

That standing orders be suspended.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 9

Mrs Burke

Mr Smyth

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mr Cornwell

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Corbell

Mr Quinlan

Ms Dundas

Ms Tucker

Mrs Cross

Mr Stanhope

Mrs Dunne

Ms Gallagher

Mr Wood

Mr Pratt

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the negative.

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