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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 March 2010) . . Page.. 841 ..


Mr Stanhope: We remember yours too, when you weren’t going to actually endure discrimination against gays and lesbians. How long did that last? It lasted five minutes.

MR HANSON: Madam Deputy Speaker—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Stanhope!

MR HANSON: What we see is the most conformist of all of the members in this place and the member who is most likely to kowtow to the line fed to him by the government, by his ministerial mates. Madam Deputy Speaker, what we have seen today is someone who has failed in his role as the Speaker. He has not stepped up and fulfilled his full responsibilities in such an important issue before the Assembly.

Mr Rattenbury: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: On a point of order, Mr Rattenbury.

Mr Rattenbury: whilst I am happy for Mr Hanson to go on with whatever he cares about, we are at a point, under standing order 55, where Mr Hanson is giving imputations of improper motives on my part to participate in this debate.

MR HANSON: Can we stop the clocks please, Madam Deputy Speaker?

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Stop the clocks.

Mr Rattenbury: I think it has gone beyond the pale.

Mr Seselja: On the point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, it is very difficult for members in this place. Mr Hanson is having a go, clearly, at Mr Rattenbury, but Mr Rattenbury is not sitting in the Speaker’s chair. He cannot have it both ways—the second he vacates the Speaker’s chair he cannot be touched because he is also the Speaker. He is there as a shadow. The point about whether or not he is a shadow and whether or not he is a Speaker is a reasonable one. Given the previous ruling, where Mr Rattenbury was able to speak on energy policy instead of dealing with the substance of the censure, I would ask you, Madam Deputy Speaker, to reject the point of order. Mr Rattenbury simply cannot have it both ways. He is not in the Speaker’s chair now and any attack on him is not an attack on the Speaker.

Ms Le Couteur: On the point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, standing order 55 does not refer to the Speaker at all. It refers to all personal reflections on members to be considered highly disorderly. This protection is available for all members, not just the Speaker, and Mr Rattenbury was speaking as a member.

Mr Seselja: Madam Deputy Speaker, we know that the Greens are very sensitive, but this has been a robust debate. If we were to apply that standing order to every criticism that is levelled at another member in this place we would have very little debate. The idea that that standing order should be used to prevent criticism of a member, to prevent criticism in this case of a Greens member, is ridiculous. If you were to rule that way, it would essentially shut down much of the debate that goes on in this place.


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