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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 10 March 2005 2005) . . Page.. 888 ..


Mr Speaker, this Assembly has seen a winding back of the rights of members. There are no extensions to speaking times. If you have a complicated or technical matter, you cannot get an extension. We have shorter sittings.

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Smyth’s arguments are now no longer relevant to the need to suspend.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth will not be saying any more as his time has expired.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (3.39): Mr Speaker, it is simply nonsense for the opposition—the Leader of the Opposition in particular—to make up, to confect, conventions that simply do not exist.

Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, as we are getting pernickety: if I am making things up, does that mean that I am peddling an untruth? The Chief Minister should withdraw that.

MR SPEAKER: Cut it!

MR STANHOPE: Mr Smyth, the Leader of the Opposition, refers to the conventions of this place, conventions that have applied over 15 years, as to whether leave should be granted to speak willy-nilly. It is nonsense to say that any time a motion is moved to suspend standing orders it should be supported. This place operates, as does every other parliament in Australia, on the basis of the forms of the house and on its standing rules. That is the basis on which this parliament operates. It operates in exactly the same way as every other parliament in Australia, that is, on the basis of the forms of the house and on the basis of the standing orders.

How many times is there a suspension of standing orders in the House of Representatives to allow the opposition to debate a matter that all of a sudden is important to it? How many times is there a suspension of standing orders in the New South Wales parliament when a member of the opposition says in the middle of executive business, “I would like now to debate the behaviour of the minister for health, so let’s suspend standing orders”?

MR SPEAKER: Order! The time for this debate has expired.

Question put:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Mrs Dunne from making a statement.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 4

Noes 7

Mrs Burke

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mr Pratt

Mr Corbell

Ms Porter

Mr Seselja

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Mr Smyth

Mr Hargreaves


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