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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2761 ..


minister’s heartless, gutless and spineless response are perhaps the most unforgivable and appalling to date.

Ms Berry: Mr Assistant Speaker, on a point of order, I seek your advice on whether the descriptive words that Ms Lee has used about Mr Gentleman are offensive and have breached the standing orders.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Pettersson): Ms Lee, on the point of order.

MS LEE: No. I was just going to say I want to move on. If you to ask me to withdraw, I will withdraw.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Ms Lee, resume your seat. Ms Berry, can you just expand on the words that you think are offensive?

Ms Berry: The description of Minister Gentleman as being spineless, I think, would be offensive under the standing order. I seek your advice on whether it is unparliamentary or whether it is just not very nice.

Mr Hanson: On the point of order, this is a substantive motion. It is a no confidence motion against the minister, Of course it is going to be critical of him in the performance of his role. I think I think Ms Lee has indicated she will withdraw but I think the language is appropriate in the context of a substantive motion.

Ms Berry: On the point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker, in the context of a speech in this place, members in this place should show leadership on the kind of language that they use and should ensure that they comply with the standing orders, earn the respect of their community and use language that is appropriate both outside this place and inside this place.

Mrs Jones: On the point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker, can the clock please be stopped?

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Clerk, please stop the clock. Members—

Mrs Jones: I am not quite finished, if you do not mind.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mrs Jones, continue.

Mrs Jones: This is a time-wasting exercise. “Gutless” and “spineless” are perfectly reasonable descriptions for a minister who stands up and gives a speech from his last no confidence motion. He has overseen a department that has seen—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mrs Jones, please resume your seat. Members, there is a record of “spineless” being withdrawn in this place.

MS LEE: And what did I say? Yes, I withdraw. Can I go on?

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you. Ms Lee, the floor is yours.


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