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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2013 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Therefore, we take it from there. I am quite prepared to allow the committee to be established to go into the details of that. I am quite prepared for that to happen, and since I am the aggrieved party, the person concerned, I am not going to be heavily involved in that debate either now-as I have not in the last few months-or until this issue is further examined. I think other people may be saying things, but I have endeavoured to keep myself-hard as it is-somewhat distant from the activities that have been taking place.

I commend the motion to the Assembly. As soon as I was aware that this was happening, I advised the members of the Assembly, including the opposition. I understand Mr Humphries is concerned about the reporting date. Whether he seeks to amend that or not, I do not know. I can understand his arguments there. I understand them, but I am not too sympathetic to them by virtue of the whole background to this. But let us get this committee up and running and reporting as soon as it can.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Humphries, before you proceed, in addition to my comments in relation to the point of order you raised, I will refer you to a resolution of the Assembly of 4 May 1995, which says this:

(1) That the Assembly considers that, in speaking in the Assembly or in a committee, Members should take the following matters into account:

(a) the need to exercise their valuable right of freedom of speech in a responsible manner;

(b) the damage that may be done by allegations made in the Legislative Assembly to those who are the subject of such allegations and to the standing of the Legislative Assembly;

(c) the limited opportunities for persons other than members of the Legislative Assembly to respond to allegations made in the Legislative Assembly;

(d) the need for Members, while fearlessly performing their duties, to have regard to the rights of others; and

(e) the desirability of ensuring that statements reflecting adversely on persons are soundly based.

(2) That the Speaker, whenever the Speaker considers that it is desirable to do so, may draw the attention of the Legislative Assembly to the spirit and the letter of this resolution.

(3) That this resolution have effect from the commencement of the Third Assembly and continue in force unless and until amended or repealed by this or a subsequent Assembly.

I think that spirit should continue to be observed in reference to any matter, without trying to impinge upon the rights of members to speak freely about issues they consider need to be discussed in this place on behalf of the members who elected them.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, what I was seeking in making that remark before was the kind of protection-of-reputation approach from the chair that you chose to show this morning in the comments Mrs Dunne made about Mr Langmore. It seems to me that what was said about this other staff member was much more serious than what was said about Mr Langmore.

MR SPEAKER: Well, the staff member was not named.

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