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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 September 2019) . . Page.. 3866 ..


school chaplaincy. You drew members’ attention to House of Representatives Practice. Like our standing order 136, it says:

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.

House of Representatives Practice continues:

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.

The motion brought by Miss C Burch draws on the actions that were called on by the minister in the previous two motions and calls for the matter to be addressed and resolved once and for all. It is fundamentally different in substance from what was affirmed by the Assembly.

I would warn that not revisiting your position on this ruling will in essence set a dangerous precedent where a subject matter as broad as buses, climate change or urban services that comes up more than once in a calendar year would need, for consistency, to be ruled out of order. On numerous occasions the same issues come up for debate in this Assembly with different wording, different “notes” and different “calls on”. In this instance it relates to buses. In other instances, they relate to climate change, urban services, community facilities or dogs. A myriad motions have repeated within a calendar year on the same core subject matter.

To change that view and that practice of the Assembly will show a blatant disregard for historical precedence and the recklessness with which you at times occupy the chair. We saw that again during question time through your loose interpretation of standing orders around what questions may be directed to members. Members should be very mindful of that. Madam Speaker, I would ask that you reconsider your ruling on this matter, that it be considered not just in the context of today’s ruling but for the implications it will have moving forward, not just through this term but beyond.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Corrections and Justice Health, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety and Minister for Mental Health) (3.18): I was struck by Mr Coe’s opening remarks, which seem to be inconsistent with standing order 136. Standing order 136 is quite clear that the same question may be disallowed. It says:

The Speaker may disallow any motion or amendment which is the same in substance as any question, which, during that calendar year, has been resolved in the affirmative or negative …


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