Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 22 March 2018) . . Page.. 992 ..
that threatening the chair was his only option. Very clearly, that was not his only option. It is not appropriate, when you think that someone is not describing you in the way you would like to be described, to threaten them. It is inappropriate. There is no real way around that.
It was particularly inappropriate that when Mr Hanson sought to clarify what Mr Barr was actually saying, Mr Barr doubled down on his threat. Clearly, it was not just a matter of saying, “I’ve got upset. I don’t know how to deal with this.” He doubled down on it.
I think that is the point, that there is robust debate in this place. Indeed Mr Rattenbury made some comments regarding me this morning that I think he described as robust or meant as robust. This happens but there is a boundary, there is a line and the standing orders are abundantly clear where that line is. And that is the matter in question.
I would welcome the full context of this debate being examined, as has Ms Le Couteur. She was in the room. When you do that you see two things. The first is that the concocted outrage from the Chief Minister was simply that. The meaning of what was being said was abundantly clear. Indeed it was clarified on numerous occasions. The second is that the threat was not a threat about taking me outside that was the issue, nor about defamation. It was, as the Clerk has identified in his advice, about a threat to have me removed in my role as chair. I think it is important to clarify that following the Chief Minister’s words.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.43): Under standing order 133, I ask that Mr Barr’s amendment be divided. There are three parts to the amendment and I ask that we proceed with each of them in turn.
Ordered that the amendments be divided.
Mr Barr’s amendment No (1) agreed to.
Mr Barr’s amendment No (2) negatived.
Mr Barr’s amendment No (3) negatived.
Mr Wall’s amendment, as amended, agreed to.
MR WALL (Brindabella) (4.46): As I mentioned before, when we brought this motion to the Assembly this morning, it was to highlight what is and what is not acceptable behaviour in the course of Assembly sittings and also committee business. The intent was to have the privileges committee look at these matters to determine whether or not there was a breach of the standing orders. What we have arrived at is in fact a clear case that highlights that the Chief Minister did breach the standing orders, specifically standing orders 277A and 277B which relate to matters of contempt of the Assembly.