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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2010) . . Page.. 4067 ..


MR SPEAKER: Order, members. There is clearly not an explicit rule on the exact question that Mr Smyth has raised. Nonetheless, it is quite clear that I am operating to the system that an out of order question uses up the question, and I intend to continue to operate to that basis. I think we would otherwise open a can of worms. I think that clearly throughout question time a series of tactics are in play across the chamber, of which Mr Hargreaves’s approach is clearly one. I also believe there is a limit to that and, under standing order 202, I believe the Speaker has a capacity to make a judgement call on when those tactics become excessive, just as I do on a range of other matters. I am mindful of the point that you have raised, Mr Smyth, and I will continue to make a judgement on that as we proceed through question time.

MR SMYTH: The reason I raised this issue is that you have warned Mr Hargreaves in the past about it, and I was just simply asking: what is the tolerance here? It has happened every week for the last four weeks. You have made statements to Mr Hargreaves not to continue this, and I was just asking what the tolerance is that the chair will accept on this matter?

MR SPEAKER: As I indicated, Mr Smyth, it is a matter of judgement for the chair, and that is my ruling, in the absence of an explicit rule. Mr Stanhope.

Mr Stanhope: A very wise ruling, Mr Speaker. Going forward, now that the Liberal Party have adopted as a tactic either a censure motion or a no confidence motion in every sitting week, I wonder whether you might exercise your judgement about when that particular tactic, that particular spoiling tactic, is also an abuse of the processes of this place. I think, in relation to the confected nonsense of the Liberal Party in relation to questions asked by Mr Hargreaves, it needs too to be applied to the fact that we now have to endure a censure motion or a no confidence motion every week as a deliberate tactic of the Liberal Party to disrupt this place.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Stanhope.

Mr Coe: Joy admitted the mislead.

MR SPEAKER: Order, members!

Mr Seselja: Start telling the truth.

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! The administration and procedure committee is perhaps the best forum to debate the standing orders and any changes that need to be made. I invite members to either operate through their member office or members can come to me at any time they wish outside of the chamber. This is not the forum to debate the standing orders.


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