Page 4393 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013

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The bill expands on the reforms that started in the Construction and Energy Efficiency Legislation Amendment Act, which passed in August this year. It is part of the government’s work to improve the overall quality of buildings in the territory.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coe) adjourned to the next sitting.

Standing order 248—amendment

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: I understand it is the wish of the Assembly to debate this motion cognately with notice No 2 Assembly Business relating to the proposed amendments to standing orders relating to the consideration of committee reports. That being the case, in debating notice No 1, Assembly Business, members may also address their remarks to notice No 2, Assembly Business.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (11.13): I move:

That standing order 248 be omitted and the following standing order be substituted:

“248. At a meeting convened for the purpose, the Chair shall submit the draft report which may be considered at once. Copies shall be circulated in advance to each Member of the Committee. The report shall be considered paragraph by paragraph or, by leave, paragraphs may be considered together. Appendices shall be considered in order at the conclusion of the consideration of the report itself. The Chair shall propose the question ‘That the paragraph(s) or appendix be agreed to’ and a Member objecting to any portion of the report may vote against it or move an amendment at the time the paragraph or appendix to be amended is under consideration.”

I start out by providing some history as to why I have moved this proposed amendment to the standing orders and put it on the notice paper several months ago. It goes back to the deliberations of the Select Committee on Estimates earlier in the year. The issue has been gone over quite thoroughly in the Assembly, but I thought I might go through it again to remind people and refresh their memories. The issue relates to the interpretation by the chair of the estimates committee, Mr Hanson, of standing order 248, which I described at the time as bizarre. It was a contortion of the standing orders which I described in my debate on the day as akin to looking outside this morning and saying that it was night time—well, it would be somewhere in the world. The essence of Mr Hanson’s ruling in that estimates committee was that his draft report would be the final report. Instead of carefully considering each paragraph and recommendation for inclusion, the chair took it upon himself to say, “All my stuff is in whether you want it or not.”

Mr Coe: A point of order.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Stop the clock, please.

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