Page 3212 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013
the minutes that have been provided. I am not in a position to rule on Mr Coe’s point of order and I will need some time to reflect on it to give me and the Clerk the opportunity to read the minutes before I can rule on Mr Coe’s point of order.
That being the case, I am not quite sure how we proceed from here. I honestly cannot rule on the point of order. I do not have enough information before me.
Mr Corbell: With your indulgence, Madam Speaker, presumably the chair of the committee is presenting a report that is the endorsed report of the committee and I assume that that report is able to be tabled. Whether or not there is a question as to the validity of the committee’s proceedings, as you have indicated, is a matter that should be subject to your further consideration.
MADAM SPEAKER: Yes. I think Mr—
Mr Corbell: Nevertheless, I do not see why the chair cannot present the report. If there is some question about that after the event, then I am sure that can be appropriately dealt with by this place. But I do not see how simply taking a point of order means that the report cannot be presented when you have not ruled on that matter.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe, I will hear from you and then I will—
Mr Coe: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The crux of the issue here is that there was no motion that the report be adopted by the committee. And as such, I believe there is doubt as to whether this document attracts privilege, whether it is, in fact, the authorised report of the committee. Therefore, before it is tabled and presented, I think that receiving appropriate advice on the best way to proceed would be worth while. As such, I therefore suggest that we adjourn the tabling of this document until a later hour of this day.
Mr Corbell: Again with your indulgence, Madam Speaker—
MADAM SPEAKER: This is uncharted waters, Mr Corbell; so yes.
Mr Corbell: Thank you. It would be unprecedented in the history of this place for a decision to be taken to say to a committee chair, “You cannot table a report of the committee.” It would be unprecedented. And all we have is Mr Coe’s assertion. That is all we have on this matter. Mr Coe is welcome to make that assertion but, unless it is adjudicated upon, it would be unprecedented for this place to refuse to accept that a report be tabled.
There is no motion before the chair; there is no question before the chair at this point.
MADAM SPEAKER: The question is that the report be noted.
Mr Corbell: Mr Gentleman has not yet actually presented the report. He has not actually got to his feet and done so.