Page 4198 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 21 September 2011

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MR SMYTH: Members laugh when somebody reaches for House of Representatives Practice. I think they show their ignorance.

Government members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Corbell, you are now warned for repeated interjections. I have asked you not to.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Members may laugh when somebody reaches for House of Representatives Practice, but this is about how we govern ourselves and it is what we look to for example. If members would look at page 486 of House of Representatives Practice, with regard to the way this sort of activity should be conducted and the long-established form of the House of Representatives, which is often followed down here, it says:

Members seeking leave to make statements must indicate the subject matter in order that the House can make a judgment as to whether or not to grant leave.

When a member has digressed from the subject for which leave was granted, the chair can ask the member to confine himself or ask the member to resume his seat.

Mr Hanson got advice from the Clerk. The Clerk said the time to ask technical questions of this nature was after question time. You rise, you seek leave, you nominate the subject on which you wish to speak, and then if you are given leave you make the statement. That is exactly what he was informed to do. It is exactly what he said and the words he used were—members seem to have not heard—“I seek leave to make a brief statement regarding recommendations arising from the budget estimates report.”

He has done everything that was required of him. He has done everything according to the form. It is more about Mr Corbell’s obsession that only he can have leave. He seems to be the sole arbiter of leave and who gets it and when they get it. That is the problem here. Perhaps the Chief Minister, in her drive and in her push for more openness and more accountability, will take Mr Corbell aside and talk to him about courtesy. We heard this in 2001 when the then opposition leader talked about being more honest, more open and more accountable, and we have not had that for 10 years. Perhaps that is why we need a new regime of openness and accountability. With regard to what has just happened, Mr Hanson simply followed the directions that he was given, the directions that are governed by House of Representatives Practice, and in that case he should be given leave.

Question put:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Hanson from making a statement in relation to recommendations contained in the Report of the Select Committee on Estimates 2011-2012.

A call of the Assembly having commenced—

Mr Seselja: Mr Speaker, while the votes are being counted, can I intervene?

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