Page 1077 - Week 03 - Thursday, 26 February 2009
Points of order
Ruling by Speaker
MR SPEAKER: The second matter is that I have been asked to make rulings on a number of points of order raised by Mrs Dunne. Yesterday, after Mr Coe made a personal explanation, there occurred an exchange between Mr Coe and the Chief Minister concerning correspondence that Mr Coe had sent to the Chief Minister. Following that exchange, Mrs Dunne raised a matter for my ruling in the Assembly yesterday, namely, whether, if Mr Stanhope tabled correspondence from Mr Coe containing constituents’ names, it would be a breach of standing orders.
I note that Mrs Dunne is asking me a hypothetical question in that it presumes Mr Stanhope would undertake such an action. I also note that Mr Stanhope may have been planning on tabling the letter that Mr Coe had written to him on Tuesday asking Mr Stanhope to correct the record and not a letter containing constituents’ names.
Standing order 211 provides that papers may be presented to the Assembly by a minister or the Speaker. It places no limitations on what types of documents can be tabled, nor on their contents. Continuing resolution No 7 requires that members, when speaking in the Assembly, should exercise their valuable right of freedom of speech in a responsible manner. I think the spirit of that resolution would also apply to the tabling of documents.
Can I also point out that, if Mrs Dunne believes Mr Coe’s privileges have been breached, it is up to any member to take action under standing order 276. Therefore, I do not intend to take any further action in relation to this matter.
Mrs Dunne has also asked me to rule on whether the use of the word “urchin”, which was made by Mr Hargreaves, was unparliamentary. “Urchin” is defined in the Macquarie Dictionary as:
A small boy or youngster, especially one who is mischievous and impudent or ragged and shabbily dressed.
Having considered the matter, and whilst I do not condone the use of the word, I do not consider it to be unparliamentary.
Questions without notice
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, what will be the impact of the third appropriation bill on the areas of inflation, employment and gross state product?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Seselja for the question. The third appropriation has been put together by the government to address emerging concerns in the ACT economy; that is the concern of industry that there is a weakening in the economy and certainly that there is going to be less work around for the next 12 to 18 months. The