Page 2687 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 16 August 2005

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Tuesday, 16 August 2005

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional owners, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


The following petition was lodged for presentation, by Mrs Dunne, from 567 residents:

Ginninderra district high school—closure

To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory:

This petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the attention of the Assembly that the ACT Government’s decision to close Ginninderra District High School has been taken without any community consultation or consideration given to the best interests and needs of the students attending the school.

Your petitioners therefore request the Assembly to move that the ACT Government not proceed with closing Ginninderra District High School until there has been proper community consultation that ensures the best interests and needs of students in West Belconnen are protected.

The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petition would be recorded in Hansard and a copy referred to the appropriate minister, the petition was received.


Motion of censure

MR STEFANIAK: I seek leave to move a motion concerning censure of the Attorney-General.

Leave granted.

MR SPEAKER: Before you proceed, I would like to touch on issues concerning the application of the sub judice principle. As you know, the convention is described in the fourth edition of House of Representatives Practice as follows:

… subject to the right of the House to legislate in any matters, matters awaiting adjudication in a court of law should not be brought forward in debate, motions or questions.

Members will be aware that there is a coronial inquiry into the cause of deaths of four persons in the January 2003 bushfires. In deciding whether to invoke the convention for debates, questions and motions concerning the proceedings in the Coroners Court, I intend to follow the principles that are set out in the 11th edition of Odgers, namely, that there should be an assessment of whether there is a real danger of prejudice in the

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