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loans at competitive interest rates for the purchase of mobile homes when security such as a sublease can be offered. This Bill amends the Land Act so that areas of land in mobile home parks can be subleased for up to 20 years to individuals for the erection of mobile homes. Members may recall some discussion about this on the radio only this morning, and I am glad that our Government is able to respond so quickly to concerns raised by the community. I present the explanatory memorandum for this Bill.
Debate (on motion by Mr Wood) adjourned.
ADMINISTRATION AND PROCEDURE - STANDING COMMITTEE
Report on Standing Orders and Citizen’s Right of Reply
Debate resumed from 2 May 1995, on motion by Mr Moore:
That the report be noted.
MR HIRD (10.48): Mr Speaker, I would like to draw to members' attention the activities in the house last Tuesday, when the house rose for a three-hour break, resumed at 8 o'clock and went for another hour and a quarter. Under standing orders, all members are aware that there is the opportunity for the house to extend its sitting hours should there be a requirement to do so. Members will recall that last evening the Minister, Mr Humphries, extended the sitting time, which proves the argument that the citizens of the ACT should have access to their parliament. We on this side of the house totally agree with that; it is part of our philosophy for open government.
I noticed that on Tuesday night Mr Whitecross, when he finished his inaugural speech, left the chamber. I think that was a discourtesy to other members, but Mr Whitecross can make his own arrangements in that respect. I will table shortly a paper on the costs incurred and the savings that will be made if this part of the committee’s report is accepted. The paper I wish to table indicates that the committee’s proposal will save in this year alone around $20,000 in direct costs to this chamber. I am unable to ascertain the indirect costs, but they would be considerable.
It is clear to me that, if a matter is of importance to the citizens of the Territory, they will find the time to attend. Mr Speaker, you will recall that in the early 1980s there was a debate in the former house at 2 o'clock in the morning, and the place was packed. I have noted in the last few sitting days that question time is well attended.
Mr Connolly: They are all the bureaucrats looking after the Ministry.
MR HIRD: On Tuesday night I noticed - and it was commendable - that the Young Labor Party of Belconnen were well represented. I commend them for coming out on a wet night.
Ms McRae: And they often do.