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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 (Hansard) 16 May) . . Page.. 1348 ..

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, before I call on questions without notice, I would just like to observe that the last two question times have been relatively unedifying - - -

Mr Wood: Who has got at you? You have been disciplined, have you?

MR SPEAKER: - - - for the noise and the untimely interjections, Mr Wood, spurious points of order and, in fact, in cases no points of order at all but just comment. I would remind all members of the provisions of standing orders 54 and 55:

Offensive words

54. A Member may not use offensive words against the Assembly or any Member thereof or against any member of the judiciary.

Personal reflections

55. All imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on Members shall be considered highly disorderly.

I would also remind members of the practice in the House of Representatives:

The practice of the House, based on that of the House of Commons, is that Members can only direct a charge against other Members or reflect upon their character or conduct upon a substantive motion which admits of a distinct vote of the House. Although a charge or reflection upon the character or conduct of a Member may be made by substantive motion, in expressing that charge or reflection a Member may not use unparliamentary words. This practice does not necessarily preclude the House from discussing the activities of any of its Members.

I would ask all members to be aware of those standing orders and general behaviour.

Mr Wood: The Government has changed policy since it took over those benches.

MR SPEAKER: And if you want to be the first person tossed out, Mr Wood, just keep that up.

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