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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (13 October) . . Page.. 3065 ..

MR SPEAKER: Not if you are persistently and wilfully obstructing the business of this house. Might I suggest to all members that this question may take a long time to answer if we are going to continually have interjections. If you want to drag it out, that is fine. I will be watching what the Chief Minister is saying. She will not infringe. I have no doubt that she will not infringe by making any assumptions about Mr Corbell's behaviour. She is sticking within the rules of standing orders.

MS CARNELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I understand why those opposite would like this question not to go ahead. Parliamentary privilege is an important part of our system of government, and it is a privilege. There is an obligation upon all of us to be careful with the statements that we make as politicians, because in many cases we are dealing with people's responsibilities, reputations and livelihoods. I think some of us in this place forget this a little too often, particularly Mr Corbell.

Mr Berry: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think you made it clear that Mr Corbell's behaviour is not a responsibility of the Chief Minister. She is clearly abusing the standing orders by taking the approach that she is taking. You should call her to order if you want to remain independent, Mr Speaker.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Mr Berry has raised the same point of order three times in a row. You have ruled twice that he has no point of order to make and that you are going to listen to the Chief Minister's answer. Before the Chief Minister said any more than she said when she first rose, Mr Berry made the same point of order for a third time.

Mr Berry: No, I let her speak.

Mr Quinlan: About different material.

Mr Humphries: No, exactly the same thing, Mr Quinlan. He said it three different times in slightly different ways. At some point, taking those points of order repeatedly against your ruling is a breach of standing orders, and Mr Berry should be dealt with if he continues to take the same point of order on which you have ruled.

Mr Moore: Standing order 202(e).

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Berry. Interestingly enough, the question that Mr Hird asked could just as easily have been asked of me in terms of parliamentary privilege and the need for people to be careful in what they say. The question was asked of the Chief Minister. She is answering the question and she may proceed.

Mr Berry: What is her portfolio responsibility, Mr Speaker?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I have total responsibility - - -

MR SPEAKER: The original question that was asked of her.

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