Page 423 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 8 March 2006

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Wednesday, 8 March 2006

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


MR SPEAKER: I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of students from MacKillop Catholic College. Welcome.

Unparliamentary language

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, before we continue this morning, I would like to make some remarks about yesterday’s proceedings. At one point during the day I mentioned that I would be reviewing Hansard in relation to a particular matter. I would like, first of all, to draw your attention to a ruling by Speaker Snedden in 1981 which has been used as the basis for rulings in this place in relation to accusations to and fro across the chamber. Speaker Snedden said:

I think that if an accusation is made against members of the House which, if made against any one of them, would be unparliamentary or offensive, it is in the interests of the comity of this House that it should not be made against all as it could not be made against one. Otherwise, it may become necessary for every member of the group against whom the words are alleged to stand up and personally withdraw himself or herself from the accusation …

I intend to observe that ruling as the need arises. Mr Corbell raised a point of order about a question that was asked by Mrs Dunne during question time and asked for the withdrawal of the question. I think Mr Corbell may have misheard the question. I think that it went to the issue of ministerial responsibility and I can see no point of order there.

In relation to a later matter, Mrs Dunne raised the question of references to her and the habit which had emerged during the day of people questioning to and fro across the chamber the honesty of people, which leads to disorder. I intend to be firmer on those matters from now on. Mr Smyth interjected as part of a chain of disorderly interjections and I called him to order in relation to that matter.

I intend to deal with those matters accordingly throughout proceedings and I will ask Mr Corbell to withdraw his comments in relation to honesty when he returns to the chamber.


The following petition was lodged for presentation, by Mrs Dunne, from 597 residents:

Teddy Bears Child Care Centre

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

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