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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 November 2007) . . Page.. 3370 ..

Infrastructure and services

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I would like to add to an answer to a question I was asked. For the interest of members I would like to provide some additional information. In question time I was asked for examples of the ACT government’s approach to the provision of services, and one of the examples I would have liked to have dwelt on was the provision of maternity leave, paid maternity leave—

Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. This is not additional information; this is the Chief Minister attempting to use the forms of the house to extend the time he has to answer questions.

MR SPEAKER: There is a longstanding custom here where ministers provide additional information, Mrs Dunne; it has been going on ever since I have been here.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I use this as a final example—

MR SPEAKER: But I do not want to see an abuse of—

MR STANHOPE: No, it is not. It is an example—

MR SPEAKER: customs either.

MR STANHOPE: It is not an abuse, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, you will recall that indeed Mrs Dunne stood and took a point of order on the fact that I was halfway through an answer—my final example, which was relating to paternity leave, as the sort of service that my government supports through appropriations, particularly in relation to paid maternity leave. It was the final example I was giving. My time ran out as a result of points of order that Mrs Dunne took and I think it appropriate, for the information of members, that I conclude the answer. I am seeking to do that now for the sake of completeness and for the record.

Mrs Dunne: Point of order, Mr Speaker: the record will show that I actually took a point of order after the Chief Minister sat down, about his failure to sit down when his time has expired. I did not take a point of order during his answer. This, Mr Speaker, is coming very close to abuse of the forms of the house.

MR SPEAKER: And ministers have time limits imposed on them for the answer of questions and I do not want to see the forms of the house brutalised by manipulating them in a way that will ruin the application of these customs which have occurred over some time. So confine yourself to the minimum response, Chief Minister.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I think the Hansard will show that indeed Mrs Dunne did, contrary to the assertions she just made in her point of order, stand during my answer and did take a point of order, just as I—

MR SPEAKER: Never mind the point of order; that has already been dealt with. Just come to the substance of the issue.

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