Page 5962 - Week 14 - Thursday, 8 December 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. In light of the situation I find myself in, I am going to discuss this briefly with the Clerk. Now that I have thought about that, the question is in order. The answer to your question, Mr Hanson, is no, I do not believe this presents a problem for the standing order. As you may have observed, this matter was raised during the recent annual report hearings for the Assembly where both Mr Hargreaves and Mr Smyth asked me a number of questions in a similar vein. I am happy for members to refer to that Hansard.

In summary, my view is that the practices of different parliaments in Australia do vary. Certainly in this chamber many of the members hold multiple responsibilities and members find themselves in situations where they need to be mindful of those different responsibilities. I am very clear—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, would you like me to answer your question or not? I think that in my own mind, and I indicated this—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: That is it. I have answered the question. Mr Hanson, a supplementary.

MR HANSON: Mr Speaker, will you now resign as Speaker or from your Greens’ portfolio responsibilities to avoid the real or perceived view that you are in breach of standing order 275 and are behaving in a manner inconsistent with Westminster and House of Representatives practice?

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, I ask you, Mr Speaker, to rule on whether or not Mr Hanson’s question is a reflection on the chair and, therefore, unparliamentary and out of order.

MR SPEAKER: On the point of order, I think ministers are often asked whether they intend to apologise or resign or similar matters. I think that, in the same spirit, I will allow the question.

The answer to the question is no, Mr Hanson. As I was about to indicate before I was interrupted, when I gave evidence to the committee the week before last I indicated that I see a very clear distinction in my mind between when I am sitting in the Speaker’s chair and when I am advocating for the issues on which I was elected to this place. I think members will observe, if they choose to, that delineation in practice.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

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