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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 119 ..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

During debate a member who has already spoken to the question before the Assembly may again be heard to explain a material part of his or her speech that has been misquoted or misunderstood. Standing order 47 provides also that the member must not introduce any new matter, or interrupt a member speaking, and no debatable matter may be brought forward, nor may any debate arise out of such a matter. That is a right members have to correct misquotations, misunderstandings and misrepresentations. It may be used only where a member has spoken in the debate and must be used during that debate and prior to the conclusion of the debate.

On 12 December the Assembly was debating clause 4 of the Public Sector Management (Amendment) Bill. Ms Follett sought to make a statement under standing order 46. I allowed her to proceed. Points of order having been raised, Ms Follett then sought to address the Assembly under standing order 47 if that were more appropriate. I refer members to Ms Follett's comments at page 2850 of Hansard, her earlier comments on part-time employment at page 2845, and the Chief Minister's response at 2848. Ms Follett concluded her initial remarks made under standing order 46 by offering the Chief Minister the chance to apologise to the Assembly for having given misleading information. Points of order were then raised concerning the applicability of standing order 46 and, when Ms Follett offered to make the statement under standing order 47, whether standing order 47 was available to Ms Follett.

I undertook to examine Hansard in order to resolve the matter. Having examined Hansard and the provisions of the standing orders and practice elsewhere, I have concluded that the substance of the matter raised by Ms Follett did fall within the provisions of standing order 47 in that, in moving her second amendment to clause 4, Ms Follett addressed the matter of part-time employment - that is at page 2845 - and the Government's removal of the provision, and that Mrs Carnell later responded to the matter on page 2848. Ms Follett had the right to be heard again pursuant to the provisions of standing order 47, not standing order 46. She could explain where her earlier speech had been misquoted or misunderstood. In doing so, though, she could not bring forward debatable matter, nor could debate arise out of the explanation.

In view of the confusion, I remind members of the provisions of standing orders 46 and 47. Standing order 46 is restricted to matters of a personal nature, leave of the Chair is required, and matters may not be debated. Members may utilise standing order 47 during debate on an issue and, as I mentioned earlier, must utilise it prior to the conclusion of the debate. They may explain where a material part of their speech has been misquoted or misunderstood. Under the provisions of standing order 47 there are restrictions, however, in that members cannot introduce new or debatable matter or interrupt a member speaking, nor may debate arise upon such explanation. I trust that that clarifies the matter.

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