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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1919..

Friday, 14 May 2004

The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the Chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibility to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Suspension of standing and temporary orders

MRS DUNNE (10.33): I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Order of the Day No 26, Private Members' business, relating to the Projects of Territorial Significance Bill 2004 being called on forthwith.

The Liberal opposition signalled last night that, given the heat of the debate about the need for progress on Gungahlin Drive, we would do this this morning. We are offering an opportunity for the Assembly to break the impasse and get on with building the road. We are as good as our word; we are here at the moment to do this. It's now up to the Assembly to decide whether they are going to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (10.34): The government will agree with the suspension. Since I cannot do it, Mr Corbell will do that when possible. I thank the opposition for this move. Perhaps today will be a day of harmony rather than some of the experiences we have. I will undertake to organise a round table so we can sit down together and work through the issues.

Mrs Dunne: We have not suspended the standing orders yet, Bill.

MR WOOD: I am about to finish-I am a bit out of order. Thank you for bringing me in. We will organise that at lunchtime and come back later in the day to see what has been worked out.

MS TUCKER (10.35): If I understand what has just happened, Mrs Dunne wants to suspend standing orders to bring on a debate now for the bill that was tabled yesterday. Is that correct?

Mrs Dunne: Yes.

MS TUCKER: I would speak against that, obviously. The fact that we were working until midnight last night and that we are now seeing an attempt by the opposition to bring on full debate of the bill has to be condemned as an absolutely inappropriate process.

MS DUNDAS (10.36): The Democrats are also not happy to suspend standing orders in this way. There was a long debate last night about a few matters that wandered into the construction of the Gungahlin Drive extension but we are being asked to bring on debate

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