Page 547 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 24 February 2010

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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Legislative Assembly—unparliamentary language

MR SPEAKER: Members, before we proceed with private members’ business for the day, there are a couple of matters we need to return to from yesterday’s business. The first is that during debate yesterday Mr Hargreaves drew my attention to what he believed was unparliamentary language. I undertook to review the transcript. I have reviewed the Hansard tapes and Mr Hanson did make a comment in relation to Mr Corbell: “You misled the Assembly.” This is unparliamentary language and I invite you to withdraw it, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON (Molonglo): Mr Speaker, I withdraw it.

Privileges 2010—Select Committee


MR SPEAKER: I have been notified in writing of the following nominations for membership of a select committee on privileges. The nominees are Mr Barr, Ms Bresnan and Mrs Dunne.

I would like to make a brief statement with regard to the appointment of members to the privileges committee.

Standing order 222 requires that a minister is to move that members who have been nominated to a committee be appointed to that committee. I do not believe that a minister has any discretion on whether or not he or she can move the motion. However, it is for the Assembly to agree to the appointments.

The appointment of a member who raised an alleged breach of privilege to a committee to investigate that allegation is unprecedented in the Assembly’s history. It also appears to be unprecedented in comparable legislatures.

The House of Representatives establishes a committee of privileges at the commencement of each parliament, with a permanent membership. It is the practice of that house to discharge any member of the privileges committee for the duration of an inquiry if that person raised the complaint.

In the Assembly, prior to 1995, the administration and procedure committee considered privilege matters. This proved unsatisfactory when members found themselves the subject of complaints. Procedures were changed so that on each subsequent occasion a select committee on privileges is appointed to “ensure that none of the members involved in the inquiry has any involvement in the matter under

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