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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 4 April 2019) . . Page.. 1325 ..

Thursday, 4 April 2019

The Assembly met at 10 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Matters of public importance

Statement by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, I have a statement and I will make it this morning just to get the housekeeping out of the way. This morning I considered nine matters of public importance that had been lodged with me for today’s MPI. One of those MPIs was from Miss C Burch, which was:

The importance of school chaplains in the ACT.

Members will recall that the Assembly discussed an MPI lodged by Mr Coe on 21 February. House of Representatives Practice, which we are linked to through standing order 275, states at page 595:

Under the same motion rule the Speaker has the discretion to disallow any motion or amendment which he or she considers is the same in substance as any question already resolved during the same session … The same principle may be applied to a proposed matter of public importance which has substantially the same wording as a motion previously agreed to.

Later it states:

However, more recent thinking has been that a subject can continue to be one of public importance and that the Opposition should not be restricted in bringing it forward again with different wording. Thus matters are submitted and discussed on the same subject as ones previously discussed, the Chair having ruled privately that new, different or extenuating circumstances existed.

On 23 February, two days after Mr Coe’s motion had been discussed, I note that it was reported that the minister for education had announced that chaplains will be banned from all ACT schools after 2019. As I consider this to be a new circumstance since February, I will allow the MPI to proceed. But I remind all MLAs that when they submit an MPI it remains active until it is withdrawn or replaced by another MPI. I also ask members when they are submitting MPIs or leaving them within the pool that they consider that an MPI may have been discussed earlier in the week.

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