Page 384 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013

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perspective there is the opportunity to perhaps make a point in passing as part of that cut and thrust, and I ask whether the general level of acceptance that you are going to provide when it comes to the conduct of question time extends to perhaps the occasional attempt at wit or humour in an answer. Madam Speaker, I would simply ask for your guidance in relation to those matters. I am not asking you to make a comment on whether or not mine was sufficiently witty or humorous.

MADAM SPEAKER: It certainly wasn’t.

MR CORBELL: I accept that it was probably a fairly ordinary effort. Nevertheless, Madam Speaker, the principle and point remain, so I simply ask for your guidance in relation to those matters.

MADAM SPEAKER: If you would like to sit down I will give you some guidance now.

MR CORBELL: Thank you very much. I would welcome it enormously.

MADAM SPEAKER: It was not really funny. It was a bit of a dare joke and you could see it coming long before you went “oops”. I should not be the arbiter of humour. It is not my job here. My job here is to be the arbiter of running this place in a respectful fashion. Note that I did not say anything about the Chief Minister and her interjection on the subject but I did raise the issue when you quite deliberately flouted the standing orders in answering your question.

I will be quite insistent on being directly relevant and concise. If people can add humour to what they do, I am always in favour. Some of the best parliamentarians have always been those who could deliver a message with humour, often at the expense of their colleagues—some of them their opponents, some of them on the other side of the chamber. But what I said was that I expect people to be respectful. I will not tolerate reflections upon people’s character. When I have made a ruling like those that I have made on a couple of occasions with both you, Mr Corbell, and Minister Burch, to come back to the point of the question, I expect you to do so. This will be a growing experience. If you behave nicely, perhaps I will be more lenient. But at the moment I think we all have to learn to play well. When you are on your feet, Mr Corbell, to answer the question, we will start the clock. Do you remember what the question is?

MR CORBELL: Yes, thank you, Madam Speaker. The government is investing significant time and effort to address concerns about delay in our courts. The government has obviously invested significant additional resources into our courts through a range of measures. These include measures such as the deployment of the blitz last year, which has seen a significant reduction in long-wait matters for a large number of matters in the Supreme Court.

In addition the government is investing several million dollars in improved IT systems that will assist the court to improve its case management, and in particular its processing of documentation in the courts. Finally, the most fundamental step that needs to be taken is the full and comprehensive implementation of the case

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