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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 911 ..

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: Thank you members and thank you, Mr Speaker. I now move:


(1) Mr Moore's motion and Mr Kaine's amendments be referred to the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure for inquiry and report on whether the proposed changes to standing orders are necessary;

(2) Mr Moore's motion be set down as an order of the day, and the resumption of the debate not proceed until the Committee has presented its report;

(3) The Committee report by 2 May 2001; and

(4) The foregoing provisions of this resolution have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

Mr Speaker, this motion merely sends all of these matters off to the place where they are best analysed and pitted against standing orders in other places, I suspect. The view of the Administration and Procedure Committee will be reflected in one way or another in a report.

As members know, the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure is not like other committees in this place, so the matter will receive a full scrutiny and I trust that some sort of agreement can be reached as to a way forward. But I would say from the outset that we should not err by trying to put in place what I have heard Ms Tucker refer to as some sort of law-and-order reaction to the argy-bargy of debate in this place. There is a need for an open contest of ideas, but there is also a need for respect for the rights of members across all political groupings within the place to question the Speaker's role in managing this place. We have that role and we should treasure that. The Speaker must always be on notice that his management of this place is the subject of close scrutiny by this place. I think, Mr Speaker, that that is why this matter has come to a head. Members have become anxious, and we need to resolve the issues and move on.

That is not to say that I have any hesitation about what occurred on the day. If the same thing happened again I would do the same thing again. I think the Labor Party would too. It received the attention that it deserved, in my view. Mr Speaker, I urge members to support the motion which has been circulated in my name. That means, I think, that we do not proceed with your motion, Mr Moore.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (12.03): Mr Speaker, the government will be supporting Mr Berry's motion, as I indicated earlier, and accepting the opportunity for the matter to go to the Administration and Procedure Committee.

Mr Speaker, in the course of the general debate here about this issue and the proposal to put an amendment to the standing orders before the Administration and Procedure Committee, it is interesting that a number of members have misrepresented what is in the standing orders. I think it was Mr Quinlan-it was certainly somebody from the Labor Party-who said that I made a monumental error of judgment, and Mr Stanhope said that I could not count the numbers and that was what the problem was. But, of course, Mr Speaker, the standing orders do not give the prerogative to the Manager of Government Business to count or not count. Once the Speaker has named the member it

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