Page 3276 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013
And what are we doing? We started it this morning with a debate on a motion that the Assembly takes note of the report, and we are continuing that debate. To get up and give a sanctimonious little tirade about how we are the ones letting the committee system down is out of order and out of place.
You go to the rule to be adopted. You go to the report. Since day 1 this place has finished these debates. And it is interesting that Mr Gentleman quotes standing order 248 because he does not then go on to finish the process. Yes, 248 sets out part of the process but House of Representatives Practice details the rest of the process.
We can put all of this bit by bit into the standing orders if you want and we will turn it into a document three or four times the size of what it is now because of the committee system that you have set up. But let me read the full paragraph from page 708 of House of Representatives Practice:
The committee may consider groups of paragraphs together, by leave. Amendments may be proposed by any member and are determined in the same way as amendments to a bill during the consideration in detail stage. The committee may divide on any question. When all paragraphs and appendixes have been agreed to, with or without amendment, the question is proposed ‘That the draft report (as amended) be adopted’. The date which appears under the chair’s signature in the report is the date on which the report was adopted.
It would appear that this report was never adopted and that Mr Gentleman, as chair of the committee, I think, has got serious questions to answer about his leadership in this role by trying to bring a document to this place that he purports is the adopted report of a committee. In some ways that is misleading this house. And he has done it deliberately. He has tabled a document that he said is the report of the—
Mr Corbell: On a point of order, he will have to withdraw that.
MADAM SPEAKER: It is all right. I am with you on that one, Mr Corbell. Mr Smyth, you will have to withdraw that.
MR SMYTH: In some ways perhaps it could be considered and it may need to be looked at as to whether or not there has been a misleading in this place.
MADAM SPEAKER: No, Mr Smyth, you have to withdraw.
MR SMYTH: I withdraw. But perhaps there is more to come out of this. To stand up and say it is a report that has been adopted by the committee when it is not is a very serious thing to do in this place. So it is a good thing that it is going back to the committee. Hopefully the committee can resolve it.
DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (4.02): The level of sanctimonious hypocrisy which has come from the other side is astonishing, for me. As a member of the committee, I too am particularly disappointed that Mr Coe here today decides to try to rewrite history. He has had the draft minutes for this since 6 September. Has he sought to ask the chair to convene another meeting in the interim to deal with this matter? No. There is