Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2010) . . Page.. 4065 ..
Supplementary questions without notice
MR SMYTH (Brindabella): On a different matter, Mr Speaker, I seek your ruling. Last week I raised the issue of Mr Hargreaves asking supplementary questions that are clearly out of order—that you rule out of order—to use up the questions and delay the debate. We had another instance of that yesterday. So there is now a question each week in the last four sitting weeks. I would seek your ruling about the tactic of using clearly out of order questions to not allow other members to take up issues and whether or not you would consider, when you rule a supplementary out of order, that the supplementary might come back into play.
Mr Corbell (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): On the point of order, Mr Speaker. We believe—
Mr Seselja: It is not a point of order.
MR SPEAKER: I am not sure if it is a point of order, but—
Mr Corbell: With your leave, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Corbell.
Mr Corbell: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, to assist you in relation to this matter there is nothing in the standing orders that prohibits a member from asking a question that may be ironic or, indeed, out of order. There is nothing to prevent a member asking an out of order question. They just simply know that, when they ask an out of order question, it is going to be ruled out of order. There is nothing in relation to questions that prohibits Mr Hargreaves from asking questions in that manner. If Mr Smyth believes—
Mr Seselja: The standing orders say you cannot—
Mr Corbell: Well, you have not been able—
MR SPEAKER: Thank you.
Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, the opposition have not been able to cite a particular standing order in relation to this matter, because there is none. There is none.
Mr Seselja: He has ruled them out of order.
MR SPEAKER: Order.
Mr Corbell: Questions are not debate. The rules of debate are quite separate from the rules regarding questions, and members should know and understand that. Mr Speaker, if Mr Smyth—
Mr Seselja: You are a little brain, Simon, I mean—