Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3931 ..
Mrs Dunne (continuing):
Representatives Practice at page 301, where it talks about a motion which is a direct negative. Mr Pratt's motion has paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7 which call for particular actions. By removing all words after "That"and substituting Mr Wood's words, what that substantially does is in direct opposition to what is proposed in the amendment. I would submit that it is out of order on that basis.
There are many opportunities for members in this place, if they wish, to vote down this motion but, by moving this amendment, as I said, what Mr Wood is doing is essentially attempting to put a negative point of view, especially on those calls for action in paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the original motion. On that basis, I think that it is out of order and I seek your guidance.
MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, to speak to that point of order: it is not a direct negative. In fact, I picked up some of the words from Mr Pratt's motion-and certainly this is so in my first line there-so it's not a direct negative. If I had half an hour to do a bit of minor research I think I could successfully point out numerous occasions when motions much less contradictory than this have been allowed, debated and decided one way or the other.
MR SPEAKER: I refer members to House of Representatives Practice in response to the point of order raised by Mrs Dunne. At page 302, under "Alternative propositions", it states:
Amendments may be moved, however, which evade an expression of opinion on the main question by entirely altering its meaning and object. This is effected by moving the omission of all or most of the words of the question after the word 'That' and substituting an alternative proposition which must, however, be relevant to the subject of the question.
I think the amendment that Mr Wood has put is consistent with that approach in House of Representatives Practice, and I will therefore allow it.
MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, I will speak to that amendment, which I now move:
Omit all words after "Assembly"; substitute:
"(1) acknowledges that ACT Policing is one of this country's most effective police forces, well led and well trained;
(2) recognises the need to maintain that high degree of effectiveness with adequate staffing and training;
(3) recognises the importance and effectiveness of intelligence led policing; and
(4) asks the Commonwealth to ensure that its deployment of AFP resources to overseas activity does not diminish ACT Policing's capacity to maintain its role in the ACT.".
Mr Pratt is in a difficult position. He wants the best of two worlds. He has been very careful to say how good ACT Policing is. He has been quite laudatory in his comments