Page 2960 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013
MR HANSON: The point that I am making is that I do not support what Mr Rattenbury is saying. I do not support euthanasia being debated in this place. Mr Rattenbury is talking about his federal colleagues and their position on euthanasia and his New South Wales colleagues and their support for euthanasia. Quite clearly, that is his agenda. It is the Greens agenda. What I am saying is that I disagree with that. I think that, having heard his speech, I would have great caution in supporting anything Mr Rattenbury put forward.
Secondly, his amendment says that it is part of the shared agreement between ACT Labor and the ACT Greens in the 2012 parliamentary agreement. I seek your guidance on this, Madam Speaker, because I get confused about where that can be talked about and where it cannot. In the last Assembly when the opposition tried to raise questions in question time about the Greens-Labor parliamentary agreement, Mr Rattenbury, the then Speaker, ruled that out of order because that was not a document of any authority. It was a political document between two parties. Therefore, it was not something that was subject to the Assembly and so on.
It seems that the Greens can move motions or amendments about the Greens-Labor parliamentary agreement as if that carries some weight in this place. But when we tried to ask questions about it, Mr Rattenbury said, “You cannot talk about it.” I would perhaps seek your advice, if you have any, Madam Speaker, on just what authority this document carries and when we can or cannot talk about it. Can we ask questions about it; can we move motions about it; can we move amendments about it? It is at this point now where I would have to say I am a little confused about the status of this document within the Assembly.
I will leave it there. I will await your guidance. I just indicate that what Mr Rattenbury has put forward I think is pretty much an exercise in self-congratulations. I do not think it adds to the debate. Having heard his words, I am very sceptical about any agenda that Mr Rattenbury would have when it comes to this issue.
MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call the next speaker, I thank Mr Hanson for raising this matter with me beforehand. It gave me an opportunity to think on the subject and seek advice. My advice was that Mr Rattenbury ruled out of order questions in relation to the Greens-Labor agreement in the last term because standing order 114 states:
Questions may be put to a Minister relating to public affairs with which that Minister is officially connected, to proceedings pending in the Assembly or to any matter of administration for which the Minister is responsible.
There was no minister responsible for the Greens-Labor agreement. I think it was informal; it was essentially an agreement between two parties and no-one had ministerial responsibility for it. That is my understanding as to why questions were ruled out of order.
There was also discussion in the last Assembly as to the status of the Greens-Labor agreement, the document itself. The administration and procedure committee was