Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2351 ..
MR SPEAKER: Order! This is important.
Mr Berry: I think he assumes there are dark clouds on the horizon and he is not going to be able to speak at length on this issue.
MR MOORE: What is the matter, Wayne? Are you worried about what I might say? Are you worried about the precedent, Wayne?
Mr Berry: No, I am not worried about it at all. I think the Government would be worried about the precedent, though.
Mrs Carnell: No, we are not.
MR MOORE: Perhaps they should be.
Mr Humphries: We want to hear his answer.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
Mr Berry: I just want it clarified. If you believe, Mr Speaker, that the conditions of standing order 116 are appropriately met by this question, have you taken into account the fact that the amendments which Mr Moore has charge of have not been moved yet?
Mr Humphries: Speaking to the point of order, Mr Speaker: Applying that logic, members on this side of the chamber would not be able to be asked about Bills before the Assembly, and, of course, they are. This is exactly the same position.
MR SPEAKER: The other point is that if that is the case I may have difficulty in anticipating discussion on matters too, because that has not come up either. We have interpreted standing order 116 fairly broadly, Mr Berry. It says "relating to any bill, motion or other public matter". Perhaps it comes under the heading of "other public matter". It could be interpreted that an amendment is a motion. I do not know whether anybody wishes to argue whether an amendment is a motion. I would be prepared to allow the question under standing order 116, but I would remind Mr Moore of standing order 117(f), which says:
Questions may be asked to elicit information regarding business pending on the Notice Paper but discussion must not be anticipated; ...
MR MOORE: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your ruling and that advice. I shall be careful about that issue. Mr Osborne, thank you for the question. Thank you for the three-quarters of an hour's notice of this question. I was able to go back through Hansard to elicit some information. The history of the matter in 1993 was that the then Government moved to cut 80 teacher positions worth about $1.5m. Attempts were made to stop them doing that. The first was a motion put by Ms Szuty, which was carried, which demanded that the then Minister for Education, Bill Wood, protect those teacher positions. He simply refused. In other words, the Government at that stage thumbed their nose at a motion in the Assembly.