Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 3906..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
That the report be authorised for publication.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MR HARGREAVES: I move:
That the recommendation be agreed to.
I feel that I am obliged to speak on this because of the dissenting report attached to the report. There are not very many members in the chamber. Members listening in on the TV, who might be interested in the subject, will see that this is a very brief report, largely because the procedures contained in the resolution agreed by the Assembly relating to a citizen's right of reply, particularly No 5, prevent the committee, in matters such as this, from publishing submissions as we do in normal committees in reporting to the Assembly. In the procedures it says that:
The Committee shall not publish a submission referred to it under this resolution or its proceedings in relation to such a submission, but may present minutes of its proceedings and all or part of such submission to the Assembly.
The Assembly is advised that no such motion was put to the administration and procedure committee; hence the absence of any and all papers behind that. I am probably a bit close to revealing parts of the procedure, but I really say that by way of indicating to the Assembly that the committee has complied with this part of the resolution on a citizen's right of reply. The detail contained in the dissenting report makes it very difficult to argue the case for the committee's decision without referring to the detail of the submissions we received contained therein. To a large degree the Assembly is being asked to consider, on faith, the recommendations of the committee because individual members of the committee are constrained in putting forward reasons for their decisions. I shall not take up any more of the Assembly's time. I will conclude my remarks in closing the debate.
MRS DUNNE (11.12): I move:
Omit all words after "That", substitute: "the Assembly reject the majority report of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure and the Committee reconsider Mr Burke's application and commence negotiations in accordance with paragraph (3) of the Citizens Rights of Reply motion agreed to by the Assembly in May 1995.".
My dissenting comments on this report are essentially about procedural justice. I suppose it can be put down in those terms. Before I address my comments to the substantive issue, I need to touch on some of the things mentioned by Mr Hargreaves. I felt very constrained in what I could and could not say because of the very stringent terms of the standing orders in relation to the motion agreed to in May 1995 in relation to a citizen's right of reply.
If members care to refresh their memories-and the report does the courtesy of putting the terms of the standing orders there-they are very prescriptive indeed. I have sought advice from the Clerk and I understand I can say more here than in the report. I would