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MR HIRD: I commend them for that. I would not say that there was any attempt to fill the gallery. While I do not say that the Labor Party are against this part of the report, the former Speaker would have at her fingertips first-hand knowledge of the patronage of the visitors gallery by the citizens of the Territory and would be well aware that it is not well supported. I understand that on only two occasions was the gallery full. One occasion was the debate on abortion, in which I think our colleague Mr Berry was involved, and the other was when Mr Berry stood down as Minister.
I believe that this is a sensible approach. I point out that it is only for a trial period, at which time this chamber can make up its mind. I commend the report and look forward to the support of all members of this place for the savings that will flow from this proposal when it is implemented. I seek leave to table that document on costings.
Ms McRae: On a point of order: Are not the proposed new standing orders and the citizen's right of reply integrated? Can this not be a cognate debate? Is there any reason why these three matters are separate?
MR SPEAKER: It is a report that incorporates both standing orders and citizen's right of reply.
Ms McRae: Then why are they listed separately? I do not understand the notice paper.
Mr Moore: Because I moved a motion.
MR SPEAKER: Please stand when you address the Chair.
MR BERRY (10.55): Mr Speaker, this debate has been around for some time in so far as the Tuesday night sittings are concerned. The adoption of the standing orders, including what were temporary standing orders in the past, is an arrangement that we have decided to pursue in committee because those temporary standing orders are standing orders we have become familiar with and have found to work fairly well. For the last two terms of this Assembly we have been operating under a set of temporary standing orders; they have worked satisfactorily and it has been decided that they should be included.
There are a couple of matters in which I am particularly interested. One is the procedure whereby members extend their speaking time to deal with a particular matter. When they have run out of time, the process has been that we have had to secure a motion of the Assembly in order that members can have an extension of their time. That seemed to me to be somewhat cumbersome. It was discussed in the Administration and Procedure Committee, and there was broad agreement that we should go to a procedure whereby leave can be granted for members to have the time of their speech extended by half the time prescribed within the standing orders. In due course, I will move an amendment that accommodates those changes, which I think will be non-controversial. I will be moving another amendment in relation to the Tuesday night sittings. I will not anticipate debate because that debate will occur in due course.