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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (16 August) . . Page.. 2225..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

not want to get to the guts of the matter. I have been accused of picking around the edges. Today we are going to the guts of the matter-whether there are members on that side of the house who two or three weeks ago voted to extend the consultation process on school closures. We want to put those people on their mettle-Mr Speaker, you included. We want to see whether you will vote in this place the way your conscience dictated at the state conference. This is going to cause considerable discomfort to people on that side and this is why they do not want to get on to the business.

Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order. The question is that standing orders be suspended. It is not about education debates. It is not about what happened in the ALP conference. It is about whether or not this Assembly is prepared to allow a member of the committee to make comments on a conference she attended as a member of the committee. That is what it is about. If Mrs Dunne does not want to agree with that, that is fine, but it is not about all the other issues she raises.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne is entitled to raise questions about why the government might not want to proceed with other matters on the agenda. It is a legitimate point.

Mr Corbell: Well, Mr Speaker, on the point of order. It is not for you to editorialise on what the motivations of the government may be.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, he is reflecting on your ruling.

Mr Corbell: The question is that Ms Porter be allowed to make comments in relation to a conference that she attended as a member of the committee. Mrs Dunne has a conspiracy theory; she has lots of conspiracy theories. The government simply want the opportunity to be given to Ms Porter to discuss the issue on the agenda. We are not afraid of anything. We are happy to have the debate on all of these issues. This issue is on the agenda, and Ms Porter should be given the opportunity to speak on an issue that is on the notice paper for today.

MR SPEAKER: Whether you regard it as editorialising or not, Mr Corbell, there is a motion before the house to suspend standing orders. Members who support that are able to put a particular view and they are able to speculate on the reasons people might have for suspensions or otherwise. That has been common practice for a long time.

MRS DUNNE: This proposal today is a clear filibuster-everything that has happened this morning has been a clear filibuster. These items that should have been dealt with in four or five minutes each have gone on for almost two hours of today's sitting. This is a clear filibuster. We will not suspend standing orders.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo-Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning) (12.08), in reply: It is a simple proposition. We simply want Ms Porter to have the opportunity to speak on this item, which is on the notice paper and which is genuine business of an Assembly committee. Mrs Dunne, in her comments against the proposition, raised the assertion that committee members were taking advantage of the opportunity to be in North Queensland to enjoy the scenic wonders of North Queensland. That may or may not be the case but Mrs Dunne should be careful about throwing stones in glass houses.

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