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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 876 ..


Authority of Speaker

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (3.32): Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

I think we need time to think about what has happened here.

Mr Wood: You are going to go and cool down, are you?

MR MOORE: I think it is an appropriate time to adjourn the house.

Mr Berry: What are you talking about?

MR MOORE: It is my prerogative to move the adjournment of the Assembly. It is your prerogative to vote no.

Mr Humphries: If I can speak-

MR MOORE: I will speak first.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, he is closing debate.

MR MOORE: No, I am not. I will speak first and then I will close the debate later. Mr Speaker, the reason I moved the adjournment is because I believe that a very serious precedent has just been set and it is a matter of grave concern to the government. I moved the motion under standing order 203 in my role as manager of government business, and only in that role. Mr Speaker, the precedent that has been set now is something that we ought to consider very, very carefully. Each and every one of us needs to see how we generated this, and that includes me. I am not resiling from that. I think it is appropriate for us to suspend the house, Mr Speaker, in order to give us time to think about it before things degenerate.

I have conceded here that I played a role in getting things to this stage. Mr Kaine, in particular, I appeal to you, because you know that this is a particularly serious business. I understand that you were involved in the middle of it. You understand the precedent.

Mr Wood: You are debating a vote of the house. You are reflecting on a vote.

MR MOORE: I am speaking in the adjournment debate. I can speak on a matter that I see is appropriate. Mr Kaine, you in particular, and Ms Tucker, as you recognise, this is a very serious matter. I think it is appropriate for us to adjourn the house and to consider this matter in the cold light of day with a bit of space between us and the emotion that is currently in question time, Mr Speaker. I call on members to support the motion for the adjournment of the Assembly at this stage.

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