Page 604 - Week 02 - Thursday, 6 March 2008

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process as the representative of the government side and, when I was not able to do it—it is actually mentioned in the report—Ms Porter sat in on my behalf and Mr Gentleman went to one of those meetings as well.

As you said, Mr Speaker, you have done this with the most honourable of intentions—to actually get the standing orders reviewed—because you saw that there was a job that needed to be done. So I think it is unfortunate there has been this little slanging that is going on around the chamber about what people have actually put into the review. This was done in good faith.

It is not necessarily the quantity of suggested changes but rather the quality of the end result of the standing orders that we are looking at today. The only way we can know whether these are going to work is to put them into practice. There will no doubt be issues in here which will need to be ironed out. But we can only know that if we try it. That is why this needs to be done now.

I also wanted to finally mention and remind members of the Assembly that, on 18 February, a letter was circulated by Janice Rafferty, the assistant secretary of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure, to all members of this place, letting them know that the report had been tabled on Thursday, 6 December, and that the committee, at its meeting on 12 February, agreed that consideration of the motion that that report be adopted be listed for debate under Assembly business on 6 March 2008; that is, today. Members were notified about that on 18 February. Yet the first thing we hear about these proposed changes is today when they are circulated.

In raising that, I go back to the point that standing orders and the review of standing orders will never be something which grabs the imagination of people in this place, but it is up to each individual member, along the way, to have glanced at things that come through their office and, if you have an issue with it, deal with it at the time, instead of letting the thing go till the last moment. I endorse the report and reject the amendment.

Mrs Dunne: In accordance with standing order 133, can these three amendments be divided and voted on separately? Standing order 133 says that a complicated matter can be divided.

MR SPEAKER: So you have got to convince me that it is complicated.

Mrs Dunne: Thank you. It is complicated.

MR SPEAKER: You have convinced me that it is complicated.

Ordered that the amendment be divided.

Part (1) negatived.

Part (2) negatived.

Part (3) negatived.

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