Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1800 ..
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I wonder whether you would consider the question that was raised. It was out of order. I did not want to interrupt what the Chief Minister was going on about, but the question did ask the Government to announce policy.
Mrs Carnell: I did, in two places - right at the beginning and at the end.
Mr Berry: It is completely out of order.
Mrs Carnell: I said twice that we have no policy.
Mr Berry: The question was out of order.
MR SPEAKER: I do not know whether you are looking at standing order 117(f), but it says:
Questions may be asked to elicit information regarding business pending on the Notice Paper but discussion must not be anticipated;
The Chief Minister did not debate the issue in answering the question. The question was asked to elicit information. The Chair believes that that information was provided, whether people like it or not.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I ask you to take the time to look at other sections of the standing orders, in particular 117(c)(ii), and quote that to us.
MR SPEAKER: It says that questions must not ask Ministers "to announce Executive policy, but may seek an explanation regarding the policy of the Executive and its application".
Ms McRae: No policy is a policy.
MR SPEAKER: It is hardly Executive policy. In fact, from what I heard of the Chief Minister's response, it was the exact opposite of Executive policy, because there is not any policy. I stand corrected if I am wrong, but no Executive policy was quoted.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, standing order 117(c) says:
Questions shall not ask Ministers ...
MR SPEAKER: It says that questions shall not ask Ministers to announce Executive policy.
Ms Follett: That is exactly what the question did.
Mr Berry: So the question is out of order.
MR SPEAKER: But there is no Executive policy on this particular issue.