Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3094 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General)(5.52), in reply: I do not intend to address the substantive issues of citizen-initiated referenda in this debate. That is an issue which I think members of this chamber might have a closed mind about already. The normal principle that one speaks to persuade or to convince is of little value at this time. I do, however, want to make a point and direct it particularly to my colleagues the Greens. They have spoken in this place extensively in the past about procedural fairness. Today this particular Bill is being put to a vote when the party that introduced it in this place does not wish that to happen. Members opposite - - -
Mr Berry: I take a point of order on relevance, Mr Speaker. This is not about processes in this chamber. This is about whether or not people should vote for this particular legislation. Mr Humphries should confine himself to a debate about that issue.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, Mr Berry is absolutely right. I am not speaking to the Bill before the Assembly. I therefore seek leave to make a statement in respect of the procedure in this matter, instead of my summing-up speech.
Leave not granted.
MR SPEAKER: Do you wish to suspend standing orders?
MR HUMPHRIES: No, I do not, Mr Speaker.
Mr Connolly: Do you want to speak to the Bill?
MR HUMPHRIES: I do not have anything to say about the Bill, because I have nothing prepared about this Bill.
Ms McRae: You just want to attack the Greens. You can do that any time.
MR HUMPHRIES: No, I was not attacking the Greens; quite the contrary. I was appealing to the Greens.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Humphries, do you wish to continue?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I do not have anything to say about this substantive Bill. I wish to speak to members about the procedural matter, the way in which it is being dealt with. I am not proposing to take any more time over that matter. I have nothing to say about the Bill itself.
MR SPEAKER: Leave has been refused for Mr Humphries to continue with his remarks along the track that he wishes to take.
Mr Connolly: He can speak to the Bill, but he cannot make some strange speech as if it were the adjournment debate.
MR HUMPHRIES: I am not prepared to speak about this Bill.
MR SPEAKER: If Mr Humphries is to be denied leave, then I shall put the question.