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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 878 ..

Mr Wood: You are talking nonsense.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am entitled to speak in this place.

Mr Wood: Yes, too much.

MR HUMPHRIES: I was elected here by the electors of the ACT. I am entitled to put my point of view.

Mr Wood: Too much. Over and over again.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am concerned about the house. I would be concerned if this happened to a Labor Speaker who was unable to conduct the business of the house with authority.

Mr Wood: It is serious. I agree with you.

MR HUMPHRIES: It is a serious situation. Now, how do we resolve that? By carrying on as if nothing has happened?

Mr Wood: Well, you learn to count. That is one thing you do.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I think we should adjourn. I think we should adjourn.

Authority of Speaker

MR RUGENDYKE (3.38): Mr Speaker, on this debate on the adjournment of the house it could be argued, it could be perceived, that the division brought about over the authority of the chair has been manipulated by the fact that we are missing a member. Mr Osborne is absent. I believe that the reason why the motion failed was that Mr Osborne, being absent due to the birth of his most recent child, was unable to arrange a pair on his own behalf. I asked Ms Tucker if she would provide a pair for Mr Osborne, knowing myself that he would not dissent from the authority of the chair. Ms Tucker declined to acknowledge that pair. This house has been brought into severe disrepute as a result of that division, manipulated by the absence of Mr Osborne. I support an adjournment of the house until this matter can be resolved.

Authority of Speaker

MR KAINE (3.40): Mr Speaker, I appear to be the catalyst in this. My only defence is that I have been exceedingly provoked. Members of the government now get up and pontificate when they were the reason for this. The behaviour of the government during this question time has been appalling. They turned it into a joke, as I said before. In the heat of the moment, Mr Speaker, I drew you into that. For that I apologise. But I make no apology for my strong expression about the members of the government.

I think their behaviour during question time, not only today but over a long period of time, has been absolutely appalling. They refuse to be held accountable for anything. They do not allow question time to serve the purpose that it is intended to serve under the

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