Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2095 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (4.03): Mr Speaker, I rise to oppose the motion for the suspension of standing orders. This is a stunt by Mr Berry.

Mr Osborne: Don't you talk of stunts.

Mr Moore: Stunt. Stunt from Mr Stuntphries.


Mr Moore: Somebody has outstunted you.

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, Mr Moore heard correctly. It is a stunt. Mr Speaker, I think it is most unfortunate. I ask members to step back for one instant and look at the question that we are trying to deal with here. The suggestion is that the Assembly should step in and rearrange the Government's handling of legislation, which is its own prerogative. The Government has determined that administrative orders should be gazetted, and Mrs Carnell did that some time ago. Under that arrangement, Mr De Domenico was responsible for the Trading Hours Act. Having done that, however, Mrs Carnell also, as Chief Minister, determined that there should be a review of a range of issues affecting retailing in the Territory, of which retail trading hours and the legislation are only one element. Mr Speaker, the decision was made that one Minister, namely me, should take carriage of the package of issues and should handle that matter on the floor of the Assembly. Let me pose an example to members.

Mr Berry: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think Mr Humphries may well be throttled by your ruling in relation to relevance to the motion to suspend standing orders.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Mr Humphries, be conscious, please, of that.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, let me cite an example of what is being suggested here. Supposing members of this place, for whatever reason - - -

Mr Berry: I raised a point of order.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, and I will uphold the point of order in regard to all members. We are discussing the suspension of standing orders. We are not discussing the substantive motion which may or may not follow.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I oppose the suspension of standing orders because it is a grave affront to the Government's right to handle the business that it brings before this house in the appropriate way. If members opposite did not like the fact that the task of handling this matter was divided between a number of Ministers, with respect, they have no recourse other than presumably to throw out the whole Government. The fact is that we have the right to organise business as we see fit in the Government. If it is the decision of the Government that elements should be handled by a particular Minister and that he or she has carriage of that matter on the floor of the Assembly, it is the right of the

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .