Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (2 February) . . Page.. 22 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
The next sentence is the important one. It reads:
The Chairman threatened to suspend Standing Orders to stop me being heard.
Mr Speaker, standing order 248 is very specific about protecting the rights of members in the committee process. It is a very important standing order. It says, amongst other things:
Copies shall be circulated in advance to each member of the committee.
Mr Hird has already said that he received his copy of the last draft as he walked into the committee room. Standing orders were breached. Secondly, standing order 248 goes on to say:
The report shall be considered paragraph by paragraph, or, by leave, paragraphs may be considered together.
Paragraphs may be considered together, by leave. For people who do not understand how Assembly standing orders work - and they apply to committees - "by leave" means that any person has the right to say no. The reason we have that standing order in place is to protect the right of each and every member of this Assembly to have their say.
As Mr Kaine points out, there are alternative views. It is about alternative views. It is about Mr Hird having the right to present an alternative view, about having the right to go through this report paragraph by paragraph, to discuss it, to try to persuade other members of the committee - to try to persuade the chairman, Mr Quinlan, to try to persuade Mr Osborne, and to try to persuade Ms Tucker - that Mr Hird's different perspective is entirely appropriate. That is why that standing order exists. It is an absolutely critical standing order. I know that Mr Hird is going to write to the Speaker on a matter of privilege, but it would appear that standing orders have been breached in the preparation of this committee report, that a member's rights have not been protected. Mr Rugendyke, you have to ask yourself: Is this a report upon which you can make a decision, because it has not been given fair scrutiny by all members of the committee? I think that is a challenge for you.
Mr Hargreaves: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I would like your advice on whether the microphone system is not working or whether Mr Moore is just shouting at everybody for the hell of it, because I cannot see him pointing at anybody. I would like to hear what he has to say, but I cannot because of the racket that he is making himself.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
MR MOORE: Mr Hargreaves, I take the point; I shall try to moderate my voice. I did stand back from the microphone. It is just that it is such an incredibly important issue. In fact, as far as I am concerned, it is more important than the issue of ACTEW, because it is about how a parliament works, it is about a fundamental issue of democracy. Mr Quinlan stood up in this place earlier today and said that the nice part was that the committee was