Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 1878 ..
Mr Corbell: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker. I would like you to draw to Mr Smyth's attention, if you choose to raise this point of order, the standing order that provides for members to be wary of effectively identifying people in this place who do not have a right of reply in this place.
The statements Mr Smyth has just made are explicit in identifying a person without mentioning their name, and they are quite contrary to the spirit of the standing orders. Indeed, Mr Smyth's comments also breach a personal undertaking he gave to me that he was not interested in individuals-no names, no pack drill.
MR SMYTH: Point of order, Mr Speaker.
Mr Corbell: That was what Mr Smyth said to me. His actions today undermine that. Whilst they may not be in breach of the standing orders technically, they are certainly in breach of the spirit of the standing orders that require members to have due regard for the rights of people who do not have the capacity to respond in this place.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, do you want to raise a point of order?
MR SMYTH: I think the minister has done it himself. He said there is no breach. I will continue with my speech, if I may.
MR SPEAKER: Not until I have referred to the point of order and the standing orders. Let me draw your attention to this. It was agreed by the Assembly on 4 May 1995, referring to the exercise of freedom of speech:
That the Legislative Assembly considers that, in speaking in the Assembly or in a committee, Members should take the following matters into account:
the need to exercise their valuable right of freedom of speech in a Responsible manner;
the damage that may be done by allegations made in the Assembly to those who are the subject of such allegations and to the standing of the Assembly;
the limited opportunities for persons other than Members of the Assembly to respond to allegations made in the Assembly;
the need for Members, while fearlessly performing their duties, to have regard to the rights of others; and
the desirability of ensuring that statements reflecting adversely on persons are soundly based.
That the Speaker, whenever the Speaker considers that it is desirable to do so, may draw the attention of the Assembly to the spirit and the letter of this resolution.
That this resolution has effect from the commencement of the Third Assembly and continues in force unless and until amended or repealed by this or a subsequent Assembly.