Page 4271 - Week 10 - Thursday, 22 September 2011

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Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Assembly met at 10 am.

(Quorum formed.)

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

Speech clocks

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, I wish to make a brief statement. Last night, points of order were taken concerning whether the occupant of the chair is able to adjust the speech time available to members. Following those points of order, the Assistant Speaker agreed to refer the matter to me for consideration.

Members will recall that, whilst Mr Seselja was closing the debate on his bill last evening, the Assistant Speaker named a member for disorderly behaviour. During the naming procedure, the speech time clocks were allowed to run down before the Assistant Speaker directed the Clerk to stop the clock at 12 seconds.

Standing order 69 states the maximum period of time for which members may speak on a bill. It also allows the Speaker, at his or her discretion, to direct the clock to be stopped.

Whilst I understand the logic that was applied last night to the situation faced by Mr Seselja, there is no provision in the standing orders for the occupant of the chair to extend the time allotted to a member.

I suggest that when occupants of the chair feel that there may be a need due to other circumstances—for example, a naming or other disruption—they ascertain whether it is the wish of the Assembly for the speech time clocks to be reset or adjusted in some manner.


Ministerial response

The Clerk: The following response to a petition has been lodged by a minister:

By Mr Barr, Minister for Education and Training, dated 21 September 2011, in response to a petition lodged by Mr Doszpot on 22 June 2011 concerning fortnightly absence record procedures of public school teachers.

The terms of the response will be recorded in Hansard.

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