Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 20 August 2002



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 20 August 2002

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Parliamentary Record 6


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 20 August 2002 Questions and explanations should be brief and avoid irrelevance and tedious repetition. We havent even put a five minute limit on it which I think is generous. But that is what we are asking be supported. In relation to meal breaks - and I had initially a view to support the Deputy Leader of the Opposition on this because as it stands, it reads: The committee may suspend from time to time ... The Deputy Leader was always suspicious of such things and it might be a bit open ended and why dont we say: One hour for lunch and one hour for dinner. I put that very question to the Chairman. He is a bit quicker than both of us - unless I was being conned, and I dont put that past the member for Katherine - and his response was: Why should the committee be restrained it wanted to move on? Why should it have to stop for an hour in the event that they were nearly complete, nearly through questions and didnt want to stop for a break for dinner? They may well go on. But if you put it in to the Orders - Stop! Sorry! The committee has to break for an hour, go off to dinner and come back and finish and then everyone is that much disadvantaged. I am happy to see it that the committee may suspend from time to time. I dont believe that the member for Johnston is the sort of Chairman who is going to want to breaking the committee every 15 minutes. He has a view that that will cover the meal breaks and I am of a mind just to leave it there. He is of a view not to constrain the committee any more than it is. The member for Nelson talked about times in relation to clause 17. I went through those times and I think 32 horns is pretty generous. In relation to the report back on the Thursday evening - and you can only have an estimate on these things - five hours would seem to be pretty generous in allowing members to speak to the committees report when they come back and then pass the Appropriation Bill and then pass those other bills associated with the budget. The question of sitting outside parliamentary sitting times is a bit obscure. The three days in September is set for the Appropriation debate. You are going to have three days for the Appropriation debate, whether it is in the Committee of the Whole or whether, in this case, it is going to be the Estimates Committee. Now all members, by virtue of the fact that they are going to need to be here on the Tuesday morning when parliament convenes, but most members, I would think - and I am certain the member for Nelson is going to be there because he asked questions before he was in government, so he is going to want to be there asking questions. All members are going to be in and around parliament because it was always going to be the three days for Appropriation, so I am not convinced that it needs to sit outside parliamentary sitting times. If there is a need ever for extra sitting days in the sitting year, the opposition can propose it and government can consider it. If the government had a view that we needed more sitting days, we would simply work with the opposition to decide when was the best time to do it. We are not of a view that extra sitting times are requhed. This three days is appropriation whether it is the Committee of the Whole or whether it is the Estimates Committee. Madam Speaker, I did not want to go on for long because I am aware that there are other amendments to come before parliament in relation to this. I thank the opposition for theh support on these couple of amendments. They are proposed on behalf of the opposition in any case, so of course they are a bit bound to support them, but nonetheless I thank them for theh support. Amendments agreed to. Mr REED (Katherine): Madam Speaker, one amendment has been chculated and there is another one. I dont know if the second one has been chculated yet. I have not had time to have them both typed up on the same page, so I seek leave, Madam Speaker, that the two amendments be treated as one in the interests of not coming back for the second one and lengthening the debate. Leave granted. Mr REED: Madam Speaker, I move that: (1) the following words be added to the motion And not withstanding anything contained in the resolution, no member is constrained by the limits in asking- questions o f ministers appearing before Estimates Committee prior to the delivery o f the committees report to the Assembly; and (2) New section 17A be inserted as follows: 17A Notwithstanding paragraphs 16 and 17, no member shall be constrained by time limits in asking questions o f ministers in the Estimates Committee prior to the delivery of the committee's report to the Assembly. 2187

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