Page 1106 - Week 03 - Thursday, 22 March 2012

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Court. I draw your attention to the fact that Mr Seselja in his comments in the debate yesterday made claims about the actions of the two people who have pleaded guilty in relation to these matters, claiming, amongst other things, that their actions were about attacking scientists or attacking property, destroying property, intimidating workers, intimidating business owners and intimidating scientists. He went on to make a range of other comments that also referred to the court matter directly. Mr Hanson in similar comments made reference to what occurred at the CSIRO. He made claims about vandalism. He made claims about the value of the property damage and he made claims about the traumatisation of staff at the facility.

Mr Speaker, these are direct references to a matter that is currently in active consideration before the courts. I note that the Assembly has, by continuing resolution of 6 March 2008, agreed that cases in which proceedings are active in the courts shall not be referred to in any motion, debate or question. On the face of it, it would appear to me that Mr Seselja and Mr Hanson have referred to those matters and that therefore there is a question about whether or not Mr Seselja’s and Mr Hanson’s questions contravene the provisions of continuing resolution 10. I seek your advice, and would welcome your advice perhaps at a later date, on these matters.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra): With your indulgence, Mr Speaker, on this subject.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: In seeking your advice I would draw your attention to the first paragraph that says that any matter relating to this is subject to the discretion of the chair and to the right of the Assembly to legislate on any matter or to discuss any matter. This matter was not raised yesterday when Mr Seselja was speaking and it was not raised when Mr Hanson was speaking.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mrs Dunne. I take that on board as well. I think, members, the most appropriate path would be for me to consider this over some time and to look at the precedents, particularly in light of the matters that Mrs Dunne has just raised. I will do so. I will review the Hansard and I will also seek advice from the Clerk on precedents. I will report back to the Assembly at a later time. Perhaps I will leave it at that at this point and just assess how long it takes to check through this. Is that satisfactory, Mr Corbell?

Mr Corbell: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker.

Emergencies (Commissioner Directions) Amendment Bill 2012

Debate resumed from 23 February 2012, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.49): The opposition will be supporting this bill. In giving our support, however, I do need to make some comments on some of the provisions in this bill, and I do thank the minister’s office for providing some very helpful advice on the bill.

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