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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 611 ..


(3.56): Mr Speaker, the Labor Party does believe that this is a matter of public importance.

Mr Humphries: You do, anyway.

MR CORBELL: We can say the same thing, Mr Humphries, about why the Chief Minister is not here, but we are not, so do not be so childish. Mr Speaker, we do believe that this is a matter of public importance because it is a significant change in direction of the overall planning of the metropolitan structure of Canberra. The development of rural residential estates in the ACT would be a major departure from the built form of our city should rural residential go ahead, so it is entirely appropriate that Ms Tucker put on the agenda today a matter of public importance about the inadequacy of the Government's discussion paper.

I notice that Mr Smyth, throughout all of the comments he just addressed to this Assembly, did not mention one word once - and that word, of course, is "independent". He did not in any way mention the word "independent". That, Mr Speaker, is why this report is inadequate. It is inadequate, Mr Speaker, because it is not independent.

Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. Mr Corbell is out of order on relevance. He is not discussing the MPI. He is discussing the use of the word "independent". I think we all understand the importance of being correct in the usage of a single word. He should address the topic, if it truly is a matter of public importance, instead of fudging around the edges.

MR SPEAKER: Just get back to the topic.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, speaking to the point of order: I am discussing the inadequacy of the discussion paper. One of the inadequacies of the discussion paper is that it is not independent, Mr Speaker, so I will continue to make reference in that regard.

Mr Humphries: I wish to speak to the point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR CORBELL: I do not like the Government taking up my time in the MPI debate on frivolous points of order.

Mr Humphries: I am sorry, you should not breach standing orders. Mr Speaker, standing orders have been breached. When Ms Tucker introduced this matter of public importance she made it very clear that she was not referring in the way she had drafted this proposal to the debate that took place yesterday. She was referring to the adequacy or otherwise of the contents of the report.

MR CORBELL: Is there anything that excludes that? There is nothing that excludes that.

Mr Humphries: The words exclude it.

MR CORBELL: Under what standing order does the debate yesterday exclude mentioning the same comment today?

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