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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1835 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

... that consideration be given to provision of meal breaks and early notice of the possible timing of meal breaks on days involving late sittings, given the impact on the attendants and the Hansard staff. Mr Rugendyke ... expressed support. It was agreed that this matter would be handled in a flexible manner.

I think there has been some inflexibility about this issue. I should also point out in respect to that that it was issued under Mr Humphries's name as Manager of Government Business.

Mr Moore: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I will let you continue. This is technically irrelevant. Mr Berry ought to have done this when the motion was proposed to bring on Executive business. That was the right time to do this. If Mr Berry winds up, Mr Speaker, I will not have a problem, but I think this ought not go on too long.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Moore.

MR BERRY: Thank you for your patronage, Michael. It has been very welcome.

MR SPEAKER: I think the point is reasonable, Mr Berry. I do not mind you making the point, but - - -

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I was pretty flexible the last time. When you rushed the vote through I did not make a fuss and bother about it.

MR SPEAKER: If you would make the point I would appreciate it. Thank you.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I make the point that we were a bit upset about this inflexible approach to these things and number crunching. I also know that Mr Humphries has had some personal circumstances arise, which has caused him to call for a pair. I do not know what they are and I trust that they are not too difficult for him. At the same time, Mr Humphries and other members making this decision for us might have had some consideration for us, our families and staff, and their families as well. Our staff have had to respond to this without any notice. I just make the point. I think it was outrageous.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (8.20): Mr Speaker, I would like to make a quick response to that. I think it is inappropriate not to arrange these things in the way that Mr Berry says they should have been arranged. I know that at the time Mr Hird was in the chair there was some confusion on the government side as well. I spoke to Mr Hird while he was in the chair and was concentrating on what he had to do, and, basically, I had to back off. It was not arranged as well as it should have been. Mr Smyth and I have discussed it, and Mr Hird as well, and we will do our best to make sure that these things are resolved in a better way in future.

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