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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3346 ..


MR BERRY (11.33): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move a motion of dissent from your ruling.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Speaker's ruling on the foreshadowed amendment be dissented from.

Very clearly, there are some members in this house who do not want to vote on a particular form of a motion because they do not want to be seen to be opposing one motion that was put before this place and supporting the other one. Mr Moore has moved a motion which relates to the Territory's lakes. Ms McRae has sought to move an amendment which embraces the whole of the ACT. What we are about is consultation on any significant public works development in the ACT. It significantly broadens what Mr Moore is on about. Mr Speaker, it is a sensible move which tries to tie this Government to its election commitment to consult with the community on significant public works developments in the ACT. So far as those issues that Mr Moore raised are concerned, we would therefore regard the futsal stadium as a significant public works development that we ought to be consulted on. I do not know why Mr Moore is resisting this proposal. It seems silly for him to do so.

Let me come back to the important issue at hand, Mr Speaker. I think this is probably one of the very few times a motion of dissent from your ruling has been moved. Mr Speaker, you have been asked to make a decision for this Assembly. There were two matters which were proposed for consideration by this Assembly. One was a motion which was moved by Mr Moore, and the Assembly could take that or leave it. One was an amendment foreshadowed by Ms McRae, and the Assembly could take that or leave it, if it were left to the Assembly. But Mr Moore and others in this Assembly seem to believe that it is up to the Speaker to make decisions about whether these motions ought to be taken or left. The fact of the matter is that it is not up to you to take those decisions. I believe that your decision to rule Ms McRae's approach out of order is deserving of dissent and ought to get the thumbs down because you cannot have a situation where matters which are properly the property of the Assembly are decided by the Speaker. These are matters which could have been decided by the Assembly, and that course should have been adopted, instead of people trying to dodge the issue, squirm around the issue and force the Speaker into a position of making a decision in relation to the matter. Mr Speaker, your decision is wrong, in my view, and members should support my motion of dissent.

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