Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 1358 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
I cannot do my job. I would contend, and I would hope you will see my point, that what Mr Pratt was doing-and I am happy to read Mr Pratt's question-when he said, "Why did you say in yesterday's debate"was actually lifting from the debate a reference that was very broad about education; he was not actually referring to yesterday's debate.
MR SPEAKER: I heard him refer to yesterday's debate; it was pretty plain to me. We have had this trouble before with questions which have been ruled out of order. If there is any doubt, you or those who draft these questions can easily take it up with the Clerk beforehand. I think you need to be particularly careful about the way you draft questions in the context of some of them. Mr Smyth, I am hearing what you say Mr Pratt said and what you say was intended by the question. I am going to stick with my ruling at this point. I am happy to review the Hansard on the issue and examine the matter more, but I am not prepared to change my ruling at this point.
MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. If you are willing to look at it and review it, you will save me the trouble of moving dissent from your decision, which I would prefer not to do.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I am in the hands of the Assembly at any rate and it is open to the Assembly at any time to interpret the standing orders however it wishes, because they are, after all, the standing orders of the Assembly, not of mine. That is the way I have ruled at this point. I will review the ruling, but I offer you no guarantees. I would not want to dissuade you from moving a dissent motion if that was your wish.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I will have no hesitation in moving a dissent motion if, when you come back with your ruling, you stand by what you say.
MR SPEAKER: You should not threaten the Chair, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: I am certainly not threatening the Chair, Mr Speaker. I am telling you a statement of fact. I think what you have done is set a precedent that, as a parliament, we would find very difficult to live with, as would other parliaments, simply because we would not be able to debate anything that was said in the first part of a calendar year.
Mr Stanhope: I rise to a point of order, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: I understand. I think the matter is finished with for today.
Mr Stanhope: I just wanted to make the point that either Mr Smyth move dissent or we move on.
Questions without notice
ACT Housing-eviction of tenant
MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, I seek your guidance. I want to raise a matter that came up in question time in the question asked by Mrs Burke. Do I have your indulgence, sir?
MR SPEAKER: I assume that you want to raise a point of order.
MR WOOD: No.