Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 September 2015) . . Page.. 3089 ..
minister’s attention the provisions of the standing orders so she would be mindful of the provisions of the standing orders. If the minister persists in not answering what seemed to be fairly straightforward questions—if she does not have the information—she can take them on notice.
These were straightforward questions: when was the planning first started; did the quote contain particular information? If she does not know, say, “I don’t know; I’ll find out,” but to pivot to another response, which is clearly not the subject of the question—I cannot let it go on and on. And it has happened yesterday and today.
Mr Corbell: On indulgence, Madam Speaker—
MADAM SPEAKER: On indulgence. I am being very indulgent.
Mr Corbell: Thank you, Madam Speaker, you are. There is an issue of application of consistency that this side wishes to raise with you, and that is that members opposite are repeatedly, on numerous and frequent occasions, warned about their conduct in this place or drawn to order by you, Madam Speaker. This is the first time that you have exercised this particular standing order that allows you to require a minister to sit down and you did so having raised it once with the minister during her answer at a time when she was not even halfway through her allotted time to answer the question. I would simply make the request to you, Madam Speaker, that if you are to exercise that prerogative, you do so in a manner that is consistent with the latitude that you grant to those on the other side of this place.
MADAM SPEAKER: I hear what you say, Mr Corbell, and I would hope that there would be very few occasions when I would have to sit a minister down. I think you would have noticed from nearly three years of operation in this chair that today, I think, is the first time I have done it.
The supplementary question that Ms Lawder asked—and Minister Burch was part-way through and the clock has been stopped—was, roughly: was there any information in the quote that indicated what the structure was being used for? Minister Burch.
MS BURCH: As I said, this was a decision and thinking of one person, the principal. It is my understanding that the reference on the quote made reference to a safe room.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Lawder.
MS LAWDER: Minister, who requested the quote—the principal, a classroom teacher, a special needs teacher or some other member of the school community?
MS BURCH: It is my understanding that it was the principal or under direction of the principal.
Mr Coe interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe!