Page 644 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2006

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Mr Stanhope: He is in hospital.

MRS BURKE: As a consequence of Mr Quinlan’s surprising decision, it has been necessary for the opposition to consider its position about the vacancy resulting in a reduction in the government’s numbers in the Assembly. The opposition has agreed, as I have said, to provide a pair for Mr Quinlan for the current sitting of the Assembly. If Mr Quinlan is in hospital, we were not aware of that. In the event of this arrangement being required to be continued for the May sittings of the Assembly, that will also be done.

Our pair for Mr Quinlan for the current sitting will be Mr Smyth. My principal reason for making these comments, Mr Speaker, is to note that our decision creates what we might say is a precedent in the way in which pairs can be arranged in the Assembly. Ordinarily, pairs are arranged when a member is likely to be absent from the Assembly for a relatively short period. Mr Speaker, I would draw your attention to the fact that the 11th edition of Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice, which is the bible of parliamentary practice and our system of government, points out that pairs can also be arranged for vacant places in, in that case, the Senate. Mr Speaker, I would observe that the decision of the opposition to grant a pair for the period until a replacement for Mr Quinlan is determined accords with the practice as described by Odgers.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mrs Burke) agreed to:

That leave of absence be given to Mr Smyth (Leader of the Opposition) for the sitting period 28 to 30 March 2006.

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 23

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra): I present the following report:

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee (performing the duties of a Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation Committee)—Scrutiny Report 23, dated 27 March 2006, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: Scrutiny report 23 contains the committee’s comments on one bill, 28 pieces of subordinate legislation and eight government responses. The report was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting. I wish to make couple of points on it, Mr Speaker. Firstly, I thank the government for its responses. A number of points raised by the scrutiny committee were taken up and issues raised were addressed. I think it is worth while commenting that both agree on that.

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