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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1738 ..

Mr Corbell: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The minister was asked specifically about legal advice. I did not ask about the conditions of the approval. That is what he should be answering.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. You may resume your seat. I call the minister.

Mr Berry: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I refer you to the standing orders, again. We have been through all of this before in a rather ugly turn of events and we might try it again.

MR SPEAKER: We have been through it many times.

Mr Berry: The answer to a question without notice shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question and shall not debate the subject to which the question refers.

MR SPEAKER: Standing order 118 (a) and (b).

Mr Berry: The standing order is pretty clear. I would ask you to instruct the minister to adhere to it. This nonsense about the minister answering in any way he likes is not on any longer.

MR SPEAKER: It has been since about 1989 and I do not intend to change it.

Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: Mr Berry actually quoted from the one for questions, not answers.


Mr Moore: For Mr Berry, there is even a heading which says "Answers to questions without notice".

MR SPEAKER: Order! I suggest that we all get back to question time. The minister is concluding his answer. Just because he does not answer in the way that you wish at the beginning or, indeed, at the end is no business of the chair. We have been through this before time and again. Minister, do you wish to conclude your answer?

MR SMYTH: I do, Mr Speaker. The curiosity of all of this is that often the points of order take up more time than the answers to the questions and in most cases in this place the questions are longer than the answers. The reality is that the process is working. It is delivering payments.

Mr Stanhope: The reality is that you do not have legal advice.

MR SMYTH: If you would let me finish, Mr Stanhope, the reality is that the process that has been set in train is delivering. Cheques are starting to flow. The development can proceed. At this stage, I have no written legal advice. Advice was sought from PALM. The advice is that the minister does have the ability to revoke.

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