Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 16 February 2017) . . Page.. 620 ..
As I have said, the ACT is a multicultural success story, and this weekend we expect more than 280,000 people to flock to Civic to experience a kaleidoscope of music, dance and other performances across seven stages. With hundreds of local, national and international acts and some 400 stalls, there is something for everyone across the three days.
I would like to thank in advance the 4½ thousand volunteers, representing Canberra’s multicultural communities, who will showcase their respective cultural traditions and heritage through performances and food from across the globe. The festival is a strong sign of our community’s commitment to multiculturalism, and it is something we can all be proud of.
Mr Barr: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.
Statement by Speaker
MADAM SPEAKER: Members, earlier today Mr Rattenbury displayed a solar panel while the Assembly was debating a matter relating to climate change mitigation. Mrs Dunne took a point of order. I said that I would come back on this matter during the day. The Companion to the Standing Orders states at page 162:
Speakers of the House of Representatives have accepted that Members may display material to illustrate speeches but ‘hoped that Members would use some judgement and responsibility in their actions’. The Assembly has adopted a similar approach. On an occasion when a Member displayed electoral material to illustrate a point with regard to electoral legislation that was before the Assembly, a point of order was taken suggesting that the display was in breach of standing orders. The Speaker ruled that, since the Member had not ‘displayed any irresponsibility in his action’, there could be no objection to his action.
Members, I also note that in the House of Representatives both a piece of coal and a solar panel have been displayed in the chamber by members. Speaker Smith ruled on Monday this week that whilst displays have occurred from time to time he indicated that he found it most unbecoming and that it would not become a regular feature of question time.
I, members, take a similar view. Whilst I do not think that Mr Rattenbury displayed any irresponsibility in his actions I would urge members to exercise some judgement and responsibility in their actions when displaying material to illustrate and add to their speeches. As House of Representatives Practice states at page 508:
The general attitude of the Chair has been that visual props are tolerated but definitely not encouraged.
Thank you, members.