Page 938 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2012

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entitled to suspend standing orders and move any motion it wishes. In this case, it is to offer direction to the Speaker that Mr Hargreaves no longer has the support of this place.

Everything in this place, being such a small chamber, works along cooperative lines. Where the Assembly has lost faith in an Assistant Speaker, it is appropriate to have a motion to clear the air or to remove the individual, whether it be a minister, whether it be the Speaker, whether it be an Assistant Speaker or whether it be a committee chair. You can suspend standing orders. In this case we would make the case that the way to deal with this is to deal with it now; it is not to put it off. It is certainly not to hide from and shy away from the subject by simply not granting leave because you are embarrassed that one of your colleagues or one of the members of the Labor Party may be the subject of this motion. The important thing here is to get on with it and deal with it so that everyone knows where everybody else stands so the air is cleared and the Assembly can progress rather than have this hanging in the background at all times.

There have been several motions recently about Mr Hargreaves’s behaviour. Members have raised concerns. Some members may not be aware that some members on this side have raised concerns with the Speaker about the incident that occurred immediately after the presentation of papers. We are very concerned with the slur cast not only on the Speaker but on the impartiality of the chair. If we cannot have faith in the impartiality of the chair, then it must be brought to a head and it must be dealt with immediately. In that regard, I move the motion that standing orders be suspended.

MR CORBELL: (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.52): On the basis that it is now clear that a majority will support debate on this motion, the government withdraws its objection to leave being granted.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I invite you to withdraw your motion.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.52): I thank Mr Corbell for that. I seek leave to withdraw the motion.

Leave granted.

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson was seeking leave to move a motion. I believe leave is now granted, so, Mr Hanson, you have the floor to move your motion.

Mr Hanson: On a point of clarification, Mr Speaker, I understand that it is your intention to make a short statement that may inform the debate. If you are to proceed with that, I think it would be best made at the beginning of the debate rather than at the end. It may curtail extensive argument. If that is your will, I am happy to wait to move that motion until after such time as you have made your statement.

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