Page 4777 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 11 November 2009

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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Assembly met at 10 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Education Amendment Bill 2009 (No 2)

Mr Doszpot, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (10.03): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Barr: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I seek your ruling under standing order 136 that this matter is in fact the same in substance as the bill which I introduced and which was debated in this Assembly only in the last sitting. Under standing order 136, the Speaker may disallow such a matter if it is brought on in the same calendar year. Given that all that Mr Doszpot has done is to take out my name and insert his own and make one other change to the bill, it is exactly the same in substance as what we debated three weeks ago. And in fact the specific change he made is an amendment that the Assembly considered at that time.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Barr. I am aware of standing order 136. However, neither you nor I have actually seen the bill yet. Yes, we now have the bill physically in front of us. I am not in a position to make an immediate ruling on that. I will hear Mr Doszpot’s introductory speech. I will consider the bill and I will make a ruling at a later time, before the bill comes back for debate.

Mrs Dunne: On the point of order: I would like to point out that it is up to the Assembly whether or not we debate this. The Assembly can suspend standing orders, if we so choose. And that is something that you need to have in mind when you are making your decision.

MR SPEAKER: That is my understanding of the standing orders. On the advice of the Clerk, I will consider the bill. I will consider whether it breaches standing order 136. I will then give my ruling to the Assembly, at which point, if I rule the bill out of order, Mr Doszpot or you will be allowed to move a suspension of standing orders to proceed with the bill. That is an option that you can pursue if I find that the bill breaches standing order 136.

MR DOSZPOT: The bill sets out to provide autonomy for our principals and parity with other jurisdictions when it comes to suspension powers. For the record, in

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