Page 3315 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 17 August 2011

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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

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

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, yesterday afternoon Mrs Dunne took a point of order concerning remarks made by the Assistant Speaker whilst in the chair towards Mr Smyth. The Assistant Speaker asked me to review Hansard in relation to his comments.

In a series of comments between Mr Smyth and the Assistant Speaker, the Assistant Speaker stated, “I do not believe you, Mr Smyth, but you can continue anyway.” Standing orders, of course, require that members should not use offensive words against any member or the judiciary. Standing orders also stipulate that imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on members should be considered highly disorderly.

Having considered the matter and taking into account the context and tone of the remarks, I do not believe that the comments made contain imputation or offensive words. From time to time there is an element of what can be termed banter that occurs in the chamber and I consider that the remarks made between both Mr Smyth and the Assistant Speaker fall into that category. Nonetheless, the incident is a reminder to all occupants of the chair to be careful in what comments they make from the chair.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, can I speak on your ruling?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra): I wrote to you also about this incident and I did make the point that there had been light-hearted exchanges but the trouble is that Hansard does not record the levity or whatever; it only records the words. It does not record the emotion at the time. I think on that, I would ask you to reflect on the impact that that has on the record, which is a written record.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mrs Dunne. We will now move to petitions.


The following petition was lodged for presentation, by Mr Doszpot, from 3,744 residents:

Planning—Erindale—petition No 125


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