Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 550 ..

Ms Tucker: Mr Speaker, I was just talking to Mr Rugendyke. It may not be necessary, but obviously we may need to have that same advice. If it is okay for Mr Stefaniak, if we find that things get too complex, I am asking that other members have that same support.

Mr Stefaniak: I do not have a problem with that.

Mr Kaine: I don't know where they are all going to sit.

Ms Tucker: Well, I don't either, but if Bill can have it we can. We can bring a chair in.

MR SPEAKER: You are asking for the officer's advice to be available for other members, Ms Tucker.

Ms Tucker: If necessary.

MR SPEAKER: The minister has no objection.

Mr Stefaniak: I don't. I seem to recall one instance-I think it might have been in regard to land and planning, probably in the old Assembly-when there were two departmental officials over there. I think there was someone assisting the opposition as well. I think there are precedents for that. I have no objection, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I am sure there are precedents. In fact, in fairness and equity, I think that assistance should be made available anyway. Thank you. That will be done.

Mr Kaine: Could I ask a question, Mr Speaker, of the minister? Is his ability to understand this plethora of amendments so much greater than mine that he can have an official sitting at his elbow while I am supposed to make my way through them totally unaided? What is the difference in principle, Mr Speaker? I think this is a precedent that, quite frankly, I find objectionable-that a minister can bring a public official onto the floor of this house because the problem is a bit complex.

Ms Tucker: We have done it before.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Kaine, this is not a precedent. It has occurred before. The other point is-as we have just agreed with Ms Tucker-that the officer will be available to all members if you wish. He is not there for the exclusive use of the minister.

Mr Kaine: If I had been given the option I might have chosen to use somebody other than a public official to advise me on the matter. This is almost unprecedented. It never occurred to me that I would do anything but battle my way through these amendments, which seems to be beyond the capacity of the minister.

Mr Moore

: Mr Speaker, perhaps I can be of assistance here as manager of government business, and also having been on the crossbenches. As I recall, a precedent was set in dealing with electoral legislation. As a crossbench member at that time I did have an assistant on the floor with me. The Assembly gave permission for that. Certainly, in the case of a very complex issue like this, should Mr Kaine wish to have some

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .