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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4339 ..


MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Leave was not granted.

MR HARGREAVES: Therefore, I move:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Barr from again addressing the Assembly.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.01): We will not support a suspension of standing orders. Mr Barr has had several opportunities to speak to this. The fact that he chose not to speak to the substantive motion in the first place is not our problem. I can count two or three times he has already spoken on this—not just once but at least twice he has spoken previous to this. The idea that he can speak as many times as he likes to a motion is not acceptable.

This is about the Labor Party filibustering now. They are filibustering because they do not want to talk about drugs and the prison. That is what is going on here. They do not want to talk about ACTION. They do not want to talk about drugs in the prison. So Mr Barr wants to have three or four goes at speaking to this. We will not support a suspension of standing orders so that the Labor Party can filibuster so that we do not get to issues they do not want to get to, particularly drugs and the prison.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (5:02): I want to speak to the motion. I wish to rise to support the suspension of so much of standing orders as is necessary to allow Mr Barr to speak. I do this for a couple of reasons. It has been a fairly confusing debate. I was not quite sure exactly at what point I should speak, given the number of amendments. So I think it is quite understandable that Mr Barr would have been unsure, when he actually spoke, that he was able to speak to the substantive motion.

Secondly, I would also point out that both times that Mr Barr has spoken so far he has been very brief and to the point. So far I do not think we could accuse Mr Barr of filibustering. I am hopeful that we will not feel that we should be making this accusation afterwards.

I think that, in the spirit of having a full debate on what is an important matter, we should allow Mr Barr to speak once more on the substantive motion which he has not, I would observe, spoken to to date.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (5:03), in reply: I thank members. Ms Le Couteur raises a very good point. I think it is worth while asking perhaps the Speaker or the Clerk, through the Speaker, to advise members of the process around speaking to motions, because I do know there is a lot of confusion, particularly among newer members who have not encountered this before but not among older members like Mr Smyth and, I would have expected, the Leader of the Opposition. I understand that he is confused, because he does not read the standing orders very often.

It is confusing. If you have got a number of amendments on the go, you need to understand and to recall that, when you are moving your own amendment, you are actually speaking to the substantive motion at the same time as your own amendment. You can get confused. It is the most simple of things.


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