Page 2942 - Week 07 - Thursday, 30 June 2011

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Members, in the last two weeks, I think we have dealt with issues concerning offensive and unparliamentary words, and I would urge members to consider their conduct carefully whilst we conclude what has been a very hectic sitting fortnight. I would also remind members of continuing resolution 7, which draws to members’ attention the need to exercise their valuable right of freedom of speech in a responsible manner.

Conduct of members

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, there is one other matter. My attention has been drawn to a media interview in a local newspaper with Mr Hanson regarding my decision to name him and his subsequent suspension by the Assembly last week. And in that media interview Mr Hanson was asked about the comments he had made during question time.

I refer members to page 74 of the Companion to the Standing Orders. As members can see, there are numerous precedents where my predecessors have addressed comments made outside the chamber concerning the Speaker’s rulings. The Companion points out that a reflection on the chair should only be made by way of substantive motion, as to do otherwise is to undermine the authority the House vests in the Speaker of the day and runs the substantial risk of drawing the institution of the Assembly into disrepute.

I believe it is the substantial duty of the Speaker to intervene in cases like this to protect the institution. On that basis, I have spoken to Mr Hanson about the comments and I accept his explanation that he did not seek to further repeat his assertion nor litigate the argument but he simply recounted the events when asked by a media outlet. I thank Mr Hanson for his considered approach to this, and I intend to take no further action. We will now proceed with the business of the day.


The following petition was lodged for presentation, by Ms Le Couteur, from 1,487 residents:

Fitters Workshop—petition No 124

To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory:

This petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the Assembly’s attention that the Fitters Workshop in Kingston, once part of the first Power House, has been used by the Canberra International Music Festival since 2009 to present concerts, and has been described by many experts, including renown composer Peter Sculthorpe, as having ‘as astounding acoustic property’. By the end of the present Festival, more than 8000 people will have attended concerts there. The ACT Government has proposed that the building be converted into a print shop and gallery, which will not only deprive Canberra’s

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