Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 4235 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
This is a simple and straightforward amendment to the standing orders, and I commend the motion to the house.
At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.
MRS DUNNE: While commending to the house this motion, I would also draw to members' attention the need for a more general overhaul of the standing orders. There are many things, including the little ritual we have just been through, that need to be overhauled. I know that you, Mr Deputy Speaker, proposed a review of standing orders early in the life of this Assembly but members saw fit not to do it. I think that probably after a little bit of experience they might see fit to have a proper review of the standing orders.
MS TUCKER (5.01): Can I seek clarification? As it has now been moved that the report be adopted, does that mean that we are supporting the recommendations?
Mrs Dunne: Yes.
MS TUCKER: But we have not had time to read the report. Why is that the will of the Assembly?
Mrs Dunne: It is not rocket science, Kerrie.
MS TUCKER: It is not rocket science, but half the people are not here. So that doesn't matter? Okay. So we have decided, having looked at it quickly-
Mrs Dunne: Well, vote it down. We'll bring it back on Thursday.
MS TUCKER: Well, I do not know why you would do that. I think it is concerning that a report is tabled for the first time, suddenly you move that it be adopted and people think that that is okay. Mrs Dunne says it is not rocket science, but that is hardly the point. As I can see it, the main conclusion from the committee work is that on occasions the whole question and answer went over three minutes-it was eight minutes on one occasion and 11 minutes on another occasion-and all the rest of the times were under three minutes, and the committee has decided to limit questions to five minutes.
Mrs Dunne: Answers to five minutes.
MS TUCKER: I do not see any arguments, but I am trying to read quickly as I speak. The report states:
In light of the findings of the most recent sitting, the Committee felt that imposing an upper limit of five minutes to the giving of any answer to a question without notice reconfirms the intention of the Standing Orders.
Is it clear somewhere in this report-it is not rocket science; Mrs Dunne can probably help me if it is so clear to her-that part of that 11 minutes was not taken up with a big