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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 896 ..

MR MOORE: I hear your interjection, Mr Stanhope. I must say that I am extraordinarily grateful that I do not look at the world through your glasses. It must be a very strained view indeed.

Mr Speaker, I have made it very clear that what we have put up is a sensible way to resolve the standing orders issue; but I am happy for the committee to look at it, so I will not go into more detail on that and we will be happy to accept Mr Berry's amendment to include the issue that Mr Kaine has raised.

Mr Speaker, I should just explain for members exactly what our amendment to the standing orders does. First of all, it removes the need for either the Manager of Government Business or the opposition's equivalent to move a motion for suspension. Under the current standing orders, if the Speaker names somebody, it is my responsibility as Manager of Government Business to stand up and move that that member be suspended from the service of the house. If a government member is named, it is Mr Berry's responsibility to stand up and move that the member be suspended from the service of the house.

This amendment removes that necessity, saying that the Speaker in naming somebody shall forthwith put the question that the member be suspended from the service of the house, simply to make the system more efficient. We also add the sin bin power. If somebody's behaviour is inappropriate in the view of the Speaker, then the Speaker has the prerogative either to name that person or to order that that person withdraw from the chamber for one hour. Proposed standing order 202A says that if a member has been ordered to withdraw for one hour, the withdrawal will not apply to the call of a vote; so, should a call of the vote happen within that hour, the member can come back to vote and then leave the chamber again. That is the change proposed to the standing orders. The Speaker still has the prerogative to name somebody in the standard way with that extra efficiency, as the case may be, and the standing orders would still require a three-hour suspension for the first offence, a day's suspension for the second offence and so on.

Mr Speaker, I think these amendments to the standing orders are very sensible. I have to say that we have had some debate on whether there should be a temporary standing order or there should be a permanent change to the standing orders. When the Administration and Procedure Committee is looking at it, it should take that into account and decide whether it believes that it should be for the length of this Assembly and then drop off, unless brought back on, or it should become part of the standing orders. Mr Speaker, I am of two minds about that. I have fallen down on the side of saying that it should be a permanent standing order, but members may have a different view on that. Maybe that is an issue that the Administration and Procedure Committee could consider.

Mr Speaker, I commend the motion to members. In particular, we accept that the Administration and Procedure Committee should look at it and report to the next sitting of the Assembly, which is how Mr Berry has set the timing.

MR KAINE (11.06): I move:

That the following new paragraphs be added to Mr Moore's motion:

"4. That the following new standing order be adopted:

Questions without notice - time limits

113B. The following time limits shall apply during the period when questions without notice has been called on:

(a) The asking of each question shall not exceed two minutes and the answering of each question shall not exceed 5 minutes.

(b) The asking of each supplementary question shall not exceed one minute and the

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