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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1299 ..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

And calls on the ACT Government to progress law reform to remove discriminatory treatment of same-sex couples in ACT legislation, working in consultation with lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the Canberra community.

I take the view, and will rule accordingly, that this motion could stand on its own but that it offends standing order 140 and is therefore out of order.

Ms Tucker: I do not want to dissent, but am I able to speak to it?

MR SPEAKER: You can take a point of order.

Ms Tucker: I would like the benefit of some discussion, but I am not quite sure if that is proper.

MR SPEAKER: It is open to you, as it is open to anybody, to dissent from the ruling at the point the ruling is made. You can raise a point of order and I will do my best to respond to it. I believe I have covered all the issues that have been brought before me on the matter, Ms Tucker, but I am happy to listen to anything you have to say.

Ms Tucker: Is it a point of order? I am not quite sure. I was interested in your discussion this morning with Mr Pratt. Am I able to debate what you have just said? I thought the fundamental point was about discriminatory practices, and that therefore my amendment would be relevant.

MR SPEAKER: At notice No 2 on the daily program, it is described as "discrimination in de facto relationship property matters". The motion itself goes to the issue of property matters, and I will read that to you. It says:

That this Assembly calls upon the Commonwealth Government to accept a reference of power from the State Governments in relation to de facto relationship property matters regardless of the sex of the persons in the de facto relationships....

On my advice, that offends standing order 140, and I am prepared to rule that way. I know that, in the heat of debate, amendments fly in this place. It might be useful if, when these amendments are being drafted, you consider taking some advice from the Clerk before putting them to the Assembly. Some of these details get lost in the enthusiasm for the issues before the Assembly. I accept that it is highly technical.

It is, of course, open to you to seek leave to move it as a motion on its own. However, members who attended the administration and procedure committee yesterday might not be too happy about that!

MR HARGREAVES (12.21): I wish to thank the Assembly for their welcome support of the motion. It is significant that we have been arguing only on the strength of the action to take towards removing discrimination, with some people wishing to progress cautiously and others wishing to take an all or nothing approach.

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