Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 26 October 2011) . . Page.. 5015 ..
MR SPEAKER: I would ask the house to not engage in a round of tit for tat at this point in time. I think it would be to the benefit of all of us if we could simply proceed.
MR SMYTH: If I could—
MR SPEAKER: Go for your life, Mr Smyth. I am simply asking the house—
MR SMYTH: I will finish the question and you will see why I am concerned. Minister, I am concerned that you do give an honest answer, given your—
Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, the question is alluding to my honesty. It is a reflection on me. It is unparliamentary. He can only make suggestions about the honesty of a member through a substantive motion in this place. Mr Smyth knows it. I ask that he be asked to withdraw the comment.
Mr Hanson: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, Dr Bourke was casting aspersions on the Liberal Party. A similar point of order was raised by Mrs Dunne, and you ruled that he could finish his question. So on a point of consistency, I think that Mr Smyth should be allowed to finish his question before any point of order is raised by members opposite, based on your previous ruling.
Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, my understanding from practice in this place gone forward has been that the Speaker’s discretion has been applied where there have been comments made about groupings, collectives, but where there have been comments made or insinuations made or imputations made about specific members, then the Speaker has ruled them out of order. I would ask you to do so in this case.
MR SPEAKER: On the point of order, you will recall that I indicated that the preface to Dr Bourke’s question was out of order. Mr Smyth, I would ask you to proceed directly to the question.
Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, are you indicating that Mr Smyth should not withdraw any imputation that he has made against me?
MR SPEAKER: I am asking Mr Smyth to proceed directly to the question. Unfortunately, Dr Bourke set the standard for question time, Mr Corbell.
Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, there is an imputation in Mr Smyth’s question that I am dishonest. It is unparliamentary and it should be withdrawn.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I ask you to withdraw the specific imputation and then let us proceed with some maturity for the rest of question time.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I withdraw. Minister, yesterday in question time, in response to a question from Mr Seselja, you said:
The studies that Mr Seselja refers to relate to the problems with the buildings that were proposed to be utilised for the ESA headquarters at Fairbairn.