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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3048 ..

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment. We understood at first that it was a display of the history of East Timor, but we saw some of the photographs and all I can say is that they were of a political nature. I really did not think that the Assembly exhibition area was a suitable place for this. As you would be aware, Ms Tucker, the Administration and Procedure Committee laid down certain conditions for the use of the exhibition space and the reception room area. I did not believe that the Community Aid Abroad exhibition fell within the guidelines of the Administration and Procedure Committee's agreed position.

MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. If I heard you correctly, you said you thought it was offensive and political in nature.

MR SPEAKER: No, I did not say it was offensive. I said I believed it was political in nature, and it certainly did not fall within the guidelines.

MS TUCKER: Will you reconsider this? The Greens will be asking that we be able to sponsor this exhibition next year.

MR SPEAKER: I will have to consider the Administration and Procedure Committee's guidelines, which you, as a member of that committee, helped to establish. I will give the matter consideration.

Legislative Assembly - Comments by Speaker

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, my question is to you as well. As you would appreciate, Mr Speaker, one of the most important functions of the Speaker is to maintain and uphold the dignity of the house. Could you explain to the chamber how impugning members' reputations by reflecting on the votes of the house and labelling members as tired has helped our reputation in the community?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, are you referring to the earlier question asked by your leader?

MR BERRY: No; I am referring to public comments that you made, Mr Speaker, in the Chronicle and elsewhere, including on ABC radio, in which you reflected quite unkindly on the activities in this place. I would like you to explain how you think impugning members' reputations in that way has helped our reputation in the community.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, I was asked whether I would give a comment on the operations of this Assembly in my first year as Speaker. I did so. The comments that I made were in that context. They were made, as I regarded them - - -

Ms Follett: They were highly political.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment. No, I would not say that they were political at all.

Ms Follett: Well, I would.

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