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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (29 February) . . Page.. 490 ..

Mr Humphries (continuing):

answer questions as they see fit, and include other material as they see fit, which he did plenty of times, if people want to check the records of Hansard. For him to now demand repeatedly that this should happen here is a defiance of your ruling, and he should be named.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, speaking to that point of order: Mr Humphries said in his speech in support of his point of order, "He well knows that Ministers can answer questions how they want to". That is not quite true. In fact, it is quite wrong. Standing order 118 says:

The answer to a question without notice:

(a) shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question; ...

That is a very strong standing order. All I am asking the Chief Minister to do is to stick to the subject matter, and that is a question. Yes or no.

MR SPEAKER: First of all, to deal with the points of order, I do not uphold Mr Humphries's point of order. I can only agree with it. I think that the Chief Minister has answered the question. I do not uphold the point of order in relation to standing order 118(a) in the way that you like to interpret it. An answer "shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question". Listening to the Chief Minister's response, I do not know that it was concise, but it was certainly confined to the subject matter of the question. Mr Humphries invited me to take some further action because this was the third time that I had not upheld your point of order, Mr Berry. I am feeling benign today. I will simply say for the fourth time that I do not uphold your point of order.

MR BERRY: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kaine: I think it is time to deal with the member, Mr Speaker. He is about to protest again.

Mrs Carnell: He is about to ask the same question again.


MR BERRY: I hear interjections from your party colleagues, Mr Speaker, that it is time to deal with a member for asking supplementary questions.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ask your supplementary question.

MR BERRY: My supplementary question is again directed to the Chief Minister. It is true, then, that lockouts are still on your agenda?

MR SPEAKER: Wait a minute. There is an inference in that, which is in breach of standing order 117(b)(iii), or an imputation, if you like, which is set out in standing order 117(b)(iv).

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