Page 3721 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 September 2018

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Mr Gentleman: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, before we continue in this debate, my understanding is that leave has not yet been granted to seek to suspend standing orders. That is the position that we are in in the chamber at the moment.

MADAM SPEAKER: We have had a number of speakers. On the question of suspension of standing orders, Mr Coe.

Standing orders—suspension

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (4.38): I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Parton from moving his amendment to the Betting Operations Tax Bill 2018.

My particular concern is: under what power are decisions being made here? Of course the standing orders are well and truly in our domain as a legislature but we are not the arbiter of the self-government act. It is up to the commonwealth, either through the parliament or through the courts, to actually be the definitive interpreter of the self-government act. This is so for everything. At any point in time somebody in the commonwealth could challenge one of our laws to see whether it is inconsistent or not.

Is anybody saying that during the debate on same-sex marriage the Speaker had the power to say that the bill was out of order? I do not think so. But we went into that with our eyes wide open as a chamber, and we made a call as to whether we wanted to progress with that piece of legislation, noting that it could be challenged by the commonwealth. And it was.

It really is the standing orders that the Speaker and the Assembly must use as the framework for how we operate here. I think that we are in very murky territory if we are going to have members of this place trying to second guess or interpret what the self-government act means, because that is the role of the court. That is the role of the commonwealth, not for the ACT to give a definitive view.

I think that there are many unanswered questions here. I do think we should allow this vote to proceed but in the event that that does not happen I think Mr Wall’s course of action is a responsible one.

Question resolved in the negative.

MADAM SPEAKER: The amendment is out of order and not to be debated.

Betting Operations Tax Bill 2018

Consideration resumed.

Detail stage

Bill, as a whole, agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

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