Page 383 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013
There was a direct question from one of your own members about promotion and I was unable to hear you at any time in two minutes answer the question in relation to promotion. That is why I asked you on a number of occasions to be concise and directly relevant, as the standing orders say. I do not expect you, when I am discussing these issues, to be skiving off, laughing and carrying on. I am actually trying to make this place run. When I do ask you to come to order, I expect you to come to order and I expect you to be respectful.
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Attorney-General.
Ms Gallagher interjecting—
MR SESELJA: The 2013 report on government services released by the Productivity Commission showed that the ACT had some of the worst backlogs in the country. This included 42.6 per cent of pending criminal cases in the Supreme Court over 12 months and 16.5 per cent pending over 24 months. Despite the court “blitz”, the Justice and Community Safety Directorate’s half-yearly statement of performance indicated that there were still 11 per cent of pending criminal cases in the Supreme Court over 24 months. Minister, what actions are you taking to address this continued backlog?
MR CORBELL: I thank the senator-elect—sorry, Mr Seselja—for—
MADAM SPEAKER: Sit down, Mr Corbell. When Mr Seselja stood up to ask the question, I heard the Chief Minister, not very sotto voce, refer to him as “senator”.
Ms Gallagher: Well, that’s where he’s heading.
MADAM SPEAKER: Chief Minister, I have no compunction in naming any member in this house. I will have no compunction. I will not be a bit put off because you are the Chief Minister. I almost said something then. Then the Attorney-General stood and again openly flouted the standing orders by referring to a member, in a joking way, in a clearly confected joke, “Oops, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that.” Members in this place will refer to members by their name. When you are answering a question, Mr Corbell, from Mr Seselja, you will refer to him as Mr Seselja. No-one will refer to them by any nickname or in any other way, and I will not tolerate it.
MR CORBELL: Madam Speaker, thank you for your ruling. Can I simply ask that you give some further guidance to members, given your comments last year—
MADAM SPEAKER: Stop the clock. I realise I have taken up most of the attorney’s time for answering the question.
MR CORBELL: in relation to the conduct of question time. You indicated last year that you expected there to be a level of cut and thrust during question time, and that some level of interjection was appropriate. Of course, from the government’s