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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1637 ..


Standing orders—suspension

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.38): I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Order of the day No 3, Private Members’ business relating to development of the Gungahlin Town Centre, being called on forthwith.

This item, as members may recall, is a motion brought by Mr Braddock relating to planning and development issues around the Gungahlin town centre. Members will recall that this was adjourned at the end of the last session. It was adjourned for two reasons. One was to clarify issues that were being raised as concerns by members of the planning committee and the other was to allow further discussions to take place on the content of the motion.

That work has now been done on both of those matters. Mr Braddock has circulated a revised version of his motion. It is ready to go. There has been some discussion about whether it should be an additional item of business or whether it should be allowed to come back on. Certainly, the discussion amongst a range of members has been that it is a good practice for this place, where a matter is being debated and there is not agreement on how to go forward, that we do not necessarily want to have to use up a whole extra slot for private members, and that we have both the time and the capacity to be able to bring these back.

That is what is being proposed today. This is a practice that could apply in a range of circumstances. It is one that will enable this Assembly to do its work better. Certainly, we have plenty of time to do it today, so I am sure that members will be supportive of dealing with this matter that was deferred at the last sitting. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.39): Madam Speaker, we will not be supporting the motion for suspension, for three reasons. Firstly, we did not support the original adjournment. What happened there, as you will recall—and Mr Rattenbury has just alluded to it—is that it all became a bit of a farce in here. Mr Braddock realised that he had overstepped the mark; they needed to take the debate out of the chamber so that the Labor Party and the Greens could have secret negotiations about what they would agree to. They have had their little secret negotiations; then they have brought it back. This has all been stitched up behind closed doors. It is not the way to do business in here, and we made that point very clearly. That is why we opposed the adjournment in the first place.

The second point is that this is an abuse of standing orders. That is why they have had to move to suspend them. We have a set allocation of private members’ business that is agreed to, and that has been the precedent in this place. Mr Rattenbury said, “It’s good practice; we can bring back items that have been adjourned.” That has never been done before. This sets a whole new precedent. Advice from the Clerk is that this has not been done before. This is a new precedent.


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