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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2309 ..

Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, I accept that as a clarification. That is enough for me. Thank you.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, in response to the motion that has been put before the house - - -

MR HUMPHRIES: I have not had a chance to speak to it yet. If I may do so, it would be nice.

Mr Berry: If you were not going to bother, I was just going to - - -

MR HUMPHRIES: I was. I have been waiting for a chance to do so. Mr Speaker, in this place, members are customarily given the chance to make short statements to clarify issues that have been raised in question time - or for any other purpose, for that matter, on the floor of this place. It is, I think, extremely insulting of members opposite to decide that they wish to make a comment in the course of a particular issue raised in question time but not to have another member respond to that particular matter that she, herself, raised in the course of question time. It is behaviour that does not become members of this place and does not add to the sense of debate about issues in this place. Mrs Carnell is entitled to seek leave to make a statement. It was, I think, rather rudely declined by those opposite. I ask the Assembly as a whole to give Mrs Carnell leave to clarify what is a very important issue for a debate coming up later today.

MR BERRY (3.23): Mr Speaker, that is the most spurious argument we have heard from Mr Humphries in recent times. The facts of the matter are that Mrs Carnell first of all attempted to speak without leave in relation to a personal explanation which followed a personal attack by Mrs Carnell during question time. The Leader of the Opposition made a perfectly acceptable personal explanation to the house. Mrs Carnell was subsequently caught out for not seeking leave to make a statement. She just took the place for granted. She then sought to make a personal explanation and proceeded to attempt to debate an issue which is going to come on this afternoon. Mr Speaker, she has no right to suspend standing orders in relation to this one. She can make all her comments in relation to this particular matter in the debate this afternoon.

MR KAINE (3.24): Mr Speaker, on the suspension motion, I think Mr Berry just made the point and established the reason why the Chief Minister should be allowed to comment. He alleged, in his remarks, that the Chief Minister had made a personal attack on the Leader of the Opposition. I heard no such attack; yet the Leader of the Opposition has based his personal explanation on that. I think that the Chief Minister is entitled to defend - and the Assembly has an obligation to listen to her defence - the allegation made by Mr Berry. As I say, he, himself, has made the case for the suspension of standing orders, and I support the suspension.

MR SPEAKER: Could I just clarify a point. There has been a suggestion that the Chief Minister sought to make a personal explanation under standing order 46. I will check the Hansard; but I am not sure that she actually sought that.

Mrs Carnell: No.

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