Page 1622 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2011

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Minister. Also, after eventually during that exchange you sought to bring the house to order and you said that the next member to speak out of turn would be warned, the Chief Minister continued and was warned. He continued interjecting, and it was only then when Mr Coe responded again that he was warned. Mr Assistant Speaker, it is absolutely clear—

Members interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Order, members, please!

MR SESELJA: It is absolutely clear that the Chief Minister—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, please stop. Stop the clock. Members from both sides of the chamber will stop this, please. Let us have a discussion like adults. I have asked the opposition to stop interjecting. Mr Hanson was a repeat offender while Mr Barr was making his speech and I tried to pull him up. I do not want to have to do the same thing to the government as well. Mr Seselja, you have the floor.

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. That is why it is absolutely clear that the Chief Minister was not treated in the same way that Mr Coe was. A far sterner standard was applied to Mr Coe. This has been a concern for some time. That is why this does, from time to time, come to a flashpoint when the opposition gets shut down during debates in interjecting in far lesser ways than members of the government. Members of the government consistently interject. The Chief Minister is one of the worst offenders when it comes to this. He should also be brought to bear. They should be warned and they should be thrown out when they go beyond what the ordinary standard of behaviour in this place should be.

Mr Assistant Speaker, this motion should be supported. We expect that there will be an impartial chair in delivering warnings and in keeping order in this place. That was not the case here. The Chief Minister did get special treatment, and that is why this motion of dissent should be supported.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (5.39): We will not be supporting this dissent motion because, frankly, Mr Barr is correct: there actually is no ruling to dissent from. The chair was discharging his duties as he saw fit in the circumstances and the situation at the time. As Mr Barr said, the occupant of the chair at any time can actually warn someone. It is a courtesy. Under the standing orders, you can actually go straight to naming somebody; he did not do that. It is actually a courtesy to put in place a warning. There is nothing to dissent from; there is no ruling here. Frankly, it is a ridiculous situation that we find ourselves in at the moment.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.40): If order in the house was being upheld then Mr Stanhope’s interjection would have been clamped down on right away and there would have been no subsequent banter across the chamber—if that had happened. But that did not happen and then there was gross inconsistency in the 30 seconds that followed, resulting in my warning. Perhaps if order was upheld—and in actual fact I ask you to review the Hansard to see whether he actually did say anything out of

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