Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 456 ..
Ms Bresnan: Mr Hargreaves’s arguments actually have nothing to do with the substance of the motion or the amendments we are actually debating here at present. I do not think we actually should be raising this issue at all.
MR SPEAKER: On the point of order, Mr Hargreaves?
MR HARGREAVES: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, I would make two issues known here. Firstly, I am considering putting an amendment before the Assembly myself now, and I wish to put a case, and I will judge from the reaction of people coming forward whether I do that. Secondly, I find it odd that you would be asked to rule on that point of order which is talking about your particular position, anyway, Mr Speaker. I would ask you to allow me to progress this argument for just a little bit longer, and I shall be fairly brief.
Ms Bresnan: On the point of order, the issue I raised is about the substance of the motion we are debating and the amendments we are debating. What Mr Hargreaves has brought up has nothing to do with the amendments or the motion, so it is entirely appropriate for the Speaker to rule on that.
Mr Hanson: Mr Speaker, although—
MR SPEAKER: On the point of order, Mr Hanson?
Mr Hanson: Yes, indeed. Although there is perhaps a case about the substantive motion, I think that, on a matter of privilege, the procedures and the process followed are very important and everybody’s role in that is vital to the case, including your own. I think discussion of the Speaker’s role in this important matter of privilege is something that should be debated as part of this, if there are some concerns by members or a member that that process is not being properly followed.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. I will clearly seek some advice on this one. I think that would be an appropriate path.
Whilst I am of a mind that Mr Hargreaves has strayed some distance from the substance of the motion, I think Mr Hanson’s point about the procedures around the privilege matter is one that probably carries weight. Mr Hargreaves, you are free to continue.
MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, and I sincerely thank you very much for that ruling. The issue for me is that if we have a supreme arbiter of our processes then we have to have 100 per cent faith in the supreme arbiter of those processes. And that supreme faith, I am sorry, has been diminished through the utterances and the subsequent actions by referring the decision to the Deputy Speaker.
I think what we are seeing now is a real, live case study of what can happen if we say that the position of Speaker in this place can carry also a part-time role. I have to say that if it had just been a case of coming to a committee and asking questions, we have seen that before and I have not voiced my concern about it. But where I have to voice my concern in this place is where the spokesperson’s views, including a view on