Page 937 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2012

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MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: I would think, Mr Corbell, that you made your own argument just then. I would say that, subject to leave being available to Mr Hanson, this is a legitimate matter to be debated by this place. Mr Hanson has sought leave to move a motion. Is leave granted?

Mr Corbell: No.

Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker, without wishing to pre-empt discussion, I seem to recall—and you may like to seek advice on this—that this matter was the subject of debate earlier in the last sitting period when there was, in fact, such a discussion. Perhaps, in fact, it has been and gone. I would just like to clarify that. I do not wish to stop it if, in fact, that is not the case.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: On the point of order, Mr Hargreaves, it is not my recollection, and I have just checked with the Clerk. There was a discussion about the position you held as whip. I am subject to correction on that, but I have checked with the Clerk. If that was the case and there had already been a debate, the Assembly could, if it wished, suspend standing orders to debate the issue again. Mr Hanson?

Mr Hanson: On the specific issue, the debate referred to by Mr Hargreaves was calling on Mr Hargreaves to resign, Madam Assistant Speaker. It was not moving a want of confidence in Mr Hargreaves as Assistant Speaker. I see them as very different motions.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you for correcting my recollection on that, Mr Hanson. There are two separate motions. I got the impression that leave was not granted.

Leave not granted.

Standing and temporary orders—suspension

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.49): I move:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Hanson from moving a motion of no confidence in Mr Hargreaves (Assistant Speaker).

Madam Assistant Speaker, it has always been the process in this place that when matters of a substantive nature such as this are brought forward they are dealt with expeditiously. Not to grant leave would leave the whole issue of the motion hanging over the Assistant Speaker’s head. That would be unfortunate, because it does then cast a pall over the office of the Speaker and, indeed, this entire place in that we cannot get our own affairs in order.

This is an important matter. At the heart of working parliaments is the Speaker’s chair and those that occupy that chair in the name of the Speaker. Yes, Mr Corbell is right; the Assistant Speakers are appointed by the Speaker, but this place is, of course,

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