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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2506 ..

Mr Berry: Mrs Carnell asks a question. Would you like me to answer it? She says, "What law?". I will tell her.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, this is a side issue. Mr Berry has clearly made an inference of corruption, and I ask that he withdraw it.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw, please.

Mr Berry: Under what standing order, Mr Speaker, can this lot ask me to withdraw something I have said about somebody outside this place?

Mr Moore: On that point of order, Mr Speaker, I would be delighted to provide Mr Berry with the answer. Standing order 117(d) is one of them. It says that questions shall not be critical of the character or conduct of a person. Nor should questions impugn a person. Most importantly, 202(e) applies, because Mr Berry has persistently and wilfully disregarded the authority of the chair, which gives you the authority to name him.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold standing order 117(d), which states:

Questions shall not be asked which reflect on or are critical of the character or conduct of those persons whose conduct may only be challenged on a substantive motion ...

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I rise on that point of order. That does not mean that I have to move a motion here to talk about Mr Murphy's behaviour. That means I have to move a motion here to talk about other members' behaviour.

MR SPEAKER: No, it does not say that.

Mr Berry: That is a deliberate misuse of the standing order.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, it does not state "other members of this house". You may wish to change standing orders at some stage, but it does not say that at the moment. It speaks of anybody.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, standing order 55 is quite clear. Imputations against members are highly improper.

Mr Berry: This is not an imputation against members. Who is the member I impugned?

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, the imputation is clearly about the Government, in particular Mrs Carnell, to whom the question has been directed. Mr Berry said "corruption", clearly with the inference that Mrs Carnell was being corrupt in some way in doing favours for Mr Murphy. The inference should be withdrawn.

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