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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4845 ..


Suspension of Standing and Temporary Orders

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (4.48): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move a motion to permit members of the administration - - -

MR SPEAKER: Is leave granted?

Mr Moore: No.

MR SPEAKER: Leave is granted.

Mr Moore: Leave is not granted. It takes only one member to deny it.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Humphries from moving a motion to enable members of the Administration to be present on the floor of the Assembly for the duration of consideration of this Bill.

MR MOORE (4.49): I will speak to that motion, Mr Speaker, since Mr Humphries is not prepared to. On many previous occasions, members of the administration have been allowed onto the floor of the Assembly, and have been so allowed with the good grace of the Assembly, in order to assist Ministers to deal with their legislation as carefully as they can. I think that that has been, indeed, an appropriate case; so much so that earlier today I put through to you a request for me to have the same assistance, because not only is this a particularly complex Bill, but I have had a great deal of assistance on it. Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact that Mr Humphries supported me in that, and I recognise that. However, I was informed that the whips of the parties did not approve of my having the same assistance as he has had.

Mr Speaker, we have debated 27 pieces of legislation, including the budget, in this Assembly since this Bill was tabled. I have spoken on most of those Bills. I have delivered a whole range of speeches since then, apart from my committee work, which included bringing down, as I recall, three or four reports. To force us into debating this issue today is bad enough; but, when I seek to have some assistance because I have had somebody working on this Bill, I am then denied it. Mr Speaker, you cannot continue to treat members of this Assembly in different ways. The question here is not whether Mr Humphries has assistance, to which I do not have a specific objection; the question is whether we all may have assistance on the floor of the Assembly. If one has it, then all should have it; otherwise nobody has it. My point is that all members should have that assistance if they require it, not one.

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