Page 1136 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 20 March 2013

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can only attempt to ask a second question if all members have asked their first question. I would like to know which standing order that is, because it does not exist as a standing order and I would ask you to ask him to withdraw that misleading statement.

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I have ruled on the matter. Mr Gentleman, you have the call.


MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, the energy efficiency improvement scheme commenced on 1 January this year. Can you explain how this scheme works and what it will achieve?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. The ACT continues to enjoy some of the lowest electricity prices in the country but we are also some of Australia’s biggest energy users in per capita terms. Energy prices are going to increase substantially over the coming decades, driven by a range of external factors. The need to address energy efficiency in the ACT arises for a number of reasons. Many studies have shown that despite—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR CORBELL: Clearly those opposite are not interested in measures that actually help Canberrans to save money and reduce their energy use. As soon as the hypocrisy—

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Corbell. That is it. You will remain silent, otherwise Mr Corbell will not be able to answer the question. There is absolutely no point in his trying to answer the question with you continuing on like a playgroup over here. I do not like using the “mother voice”, as Madam Speaker calls it, but unfortunately you have deteriorated into a playgroup on this side of the house.

Mr Hanson: Just on your—

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: I am on my feet, Mr Hanson. So I suggest to you that you do not rise to yours. Mr Corbell.

Mr Hanson: On your ruling, Madam Acting Speaker, could I ask you to apply those rules consistently? In accordance with standing order 42, the minister should have been addressing his comments through you. Clearly he was not. He was raising his voice at members opposite, pointing his finger at us, criticising us. That is not in accordance with the standing orders. So if you are going to be applying standing orders in this place, I would ask that it be done consistently. It is understandable, I think, that there will be a level of interjection from this side if the minister is not adhering to standing orders and is basically yelling and pointing his finger at the opposition.

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