Page 1685 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013
reflect on this. I would say to members that there is not a clear precedent that I have or that I have been able to find, or that the Clerk’s office has been able to find, for this course of action.
I am concerned as the Speaker because the Speaker has responsibilities in relation to disallowance. If the matter is disallowed, the Speaker has particular responsibilities. I am concerned that I would need to fulfil my responsibilities in accordance with the Legislation Act and the standing orders.
I am unclear as to whether, and the advice is unclear to me as to whether, dealing with this amendment in its form properly disposes of a disallowance motion. While I am prepared to consider opinions of members in this place, the proposal that I am thinking of is that, whilst not wanting to prohibit Mr Rattenbury from moving the content of his amendment, a better way forward might be to deal with the disallowance and then perhaps consider a motion from Mr Rattenbury to deal with this matter.
I actually think that there are important issues here and I do not have time to properly research it all. I would like the opportunity, outside this debate, to come back and make a sort of formal ruling about how we should deal with these matters. I would come back perhaps in the next sitting to deal with it then. Mr Corbell.
Mr Corbell: Thank you, Madam Speaker. On the point of order, if I may, I understand the issues that you are raising and the matter that Mr Coe is raising. The government certainly has no objection to proceeding with a series of votes that make clear the Assembly’s position in relation to disallowance of this variation or otherwise.
But I would like to make the observation that I would have thought it was appropriate for you as the Speaker to have regard to the views members expressed in the debate as to whether or not the variation should proceed and how that would be reflected in the ultimate vote—that is, members of the Labor Party and Mr Rattenbury have already indicated that they wish to see the variation proceed, albeit with a range of further actions flowing from that. I would have thought that would be relevant to any decision you made in relation to whether or not the variation was disallowed.
The fact that the Assembly, for example, if it agrees to Mr Rattenbury’s amendment, explicitly removes Mr Wall’s proposal to reject the variation, I would have thought also was material to these issues. But I have no objection to embarking on some procedural course to put that question beyond doubt, if that is a concern to other members or to yourself, Madam Speaker.
Mr Coe: On the point of order, Madam Speaker, I think the minister does make a good point. However, I think the concern that you flagged, whereby this could be a precedent, is probably the greater concern going forward. Whilst for this particular issue I think the minister is probably correct, the concern would be the precedent which is created and how much further this could extend down the track.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Rattenbury, on the point of order?