Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 June 2009) . . Page.. 2490 ..
contempt. It relates to that standing order, and if that point of clarification helps, I am happy to make it.
Mr Stanhope: I raise a point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Could you stop the clock please, Clerk. What is the point of order?
Mr Stanhope: I just wonder whether you would give the Assembly the benefit of your advice on whether or not the interpretation by the member in relation to standing order 258 is actually correct. Standing order 258, in the view of the member speaking now, directs that when a minister is called by a committee, he must attend. I just wonder whether you could confirm that that is the meaning of standing order 258.
Mr Seselja: On the point of the order, Madam Assistant Speaker, there is no point of order. It is not up to you to be ruling on a debating point. It is essentially a debating point, and the Chief Minister has no point of order.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Mr Hanson is making a point in his speech. If you, Chief Minister, want to take issue with that, there are the forms of the house to do so.
Mr Stanhope: Well, if I might, on the point of order—
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Do you have a point of order, Chief Minister?
Mr Stanhope: I do. I am just seeking your assistance. I just wonder whether it is possible for members of the Assembly to seek rulings from the Speaker in relation to the interpretation. I am asking now. That is what I sought to do. I was not seeking to actually comment on it—
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Chief Minister. Can you sit down, please.
Mr Stanhope: I wanted to know if I can ask you to make a ruling on a standing order. Is that part of the function of the Speaker?
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Sit down, Chief Minister, and I will answer your question.
Mr Stanhope: Thank you.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: If there is a matter of standing orders before the house, it is appropriate for the presiding officer to make a ruling on that standing order. What Mr Hanson is doing now is giving his view of another standing order, which is not how we are ruling our affairs today, but how the committees rule themselves. It is not appropriate for me to give my interpretation of Mr Hanson’s views on that standing order, because that does not relate to the way we govern ourselves at this moment in this place.