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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2021 ..

we will respond. We will counter those arguments and we will expose what is going on here.

The problem is that it is done by Ms Burch, who, in another guise, is the Speaker. At some stage she can take on a prosecutorial role, as the accuser-in-chief, but at other stages she seeks to preside as the Speaker, and indeed as the drafter of the report that has been tabled today. That is of significant concern to the Canberra Liberals, and indeed to the Assembly.

Regardless of which political party the Speaker comes from, it is very important that they be seen to be above the fray. You and I, Mr Assistant Speaker Davis, will have our barneys and our debates; we had one yesterday. But you do not do it from the chair, Mr Assistant Speaker Davis. You do not do it in a different guise if you are the Speaker.

We are deeply concerned. I have to confess that this has caused some loss of confidence from the opposition in terms of impartiality. We have not gone as far as moving a substantive motion today involving the Speaker, but it is certainly something that we have considered. It would certainly be useful if Ms Burch were to reflect on this as the—

Mr Gentleman: A point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, resume your seat.

Mr Gentleman: Mr Assistant Speaker, I ask that you look at the standing orders and see whether Mr Hanson is now reflecting on a decision of the Assembly or on a decision of the Speaker, and see whether that is contrary to the standing orders.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Minister Gentleman, given my relative inexperience in the chair, I will reserve judgement and review the Hansard later. I will remind Mr Hanson of the standing orders and ask him not to reflect on decisions made by the Assembly. That is indeed the invitation, and I will reflect on it after reviewing the Hansard.

MR HANSON: Mr Assistant Speaker, this goes to my point. There are debating points that I want to make, but I cannot make them in this case because I am constrained by virtue of the fact that there is confusion on this matter. That is the point that I am making. As I said the opposition is concerned by what has happened. At this stage I will not move a substantive motion, but it does not mean that the opposition is not concerned by this whole process that has unfolded.

Mr Rattenbury: A point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker. Mr Hanson knows exactly what he is doing. The standing orders are clear. If you want to reflect on the Speaker, you have to move a substantive motion. With what he is outlining here, he is running a little smear tactic. He does not have either the wherewithal or the content to move a motion; instead he is skating on the edge of it, so that he can make comments which are outside the standing orders. He needs to either put up or shut up.

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