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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 2027 ..

Taxi Licence Auction

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table two documents that are relevant to your consideration under standing order 57 of the matter Mr Kaine raised with you. The two documents are the transcript of the disciplinary appeal committee hearing under the Merit Protection (Australian Government Employees) Act 1984, dated March 1994, and a copy of the Canberra Times of 18 March 1994.

MR SPEAKER: Is leave granted?

Mr Kaine: No. Mr Speaker, I would like to speak to that matter. As I pointed out when I took the point of order, I believe that the documents are irrelevant to the point I made. I made the point that the preamble was not what I took objection to. What I took objection and exception to was the fact that Ms McRae in her question imputed to the Minister motives that were improper. Documents the Leader of the Opposition wants to table about what the Canberra Times said or somebody else said in some other place at some other time are no part of the matter I objected to. Therefore, I object to the tabling of documents that have no relevance to the point I made.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, if I may speak to that point of order: Mr Kaine made it very clear that he was dealing with a question raised by my colleague Ms McRae in relation to some public reporting of matters concerning Mr Hird. It is most appropriate that you take this into account in your consideration of the matter and it is most appropriate that these matters be tabled and circulated to members.

MR SPEAKER: It matters not whether I wish to take them into account or not. The fact is that leave has not been granted to table the documents.

MR BERRY (3.26): Mr Speaker, I therefore move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Ms Follett from tabling the documents referred to.

Mr Kaine: You can suspend them, but I still will not agree to the documents being tabled. You can suspend what you like. I have refused leave and I have stated why.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, there does not need to be much debate about this issue. It is very clear what is being attempted here. We seek to table some documents in this Assembly. They are not offensive documents. They are public documents and documents that are available to other people, and there is no reason why they should not be tabled in this Assembly. It is quite offensive for Mr Kaine to try to prevent us from doing so. This is a place where democracy and free speech are exercised, and there is no reason why these pieces of information should not be available to members in order that they may consider this issue or, indeed, your response, should you come to one in relation to the matter.

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