Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 June 2003



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 June 2003

Other title

Parliamentary Record 13


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




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES Thursday 19 June 2003 4443 First, in regard to the code of conduct and register of members interest legislation, I am able to report to the Assembly that the committee has met on six occasions and, in the course of its inquiry to date, has sought and received a number of submissions which are listed in the report, and has met with the consultant involved in the draft of the two matters referred to the committee, Mr Howard Whitton. The committee has also taken evidence from members of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly Standing Ethics Committee, which presented comprehensive submissions to the committee. At its most recent deliberative meeting, the committee considered the draft code in detail, clause by clause, and has reached general agreement on the provisions contained in a number of clauses. Further consultation will take place between members of the committee and their colleagues, with a view to further consideration by the committee of the outcomes of these discussions at future meetings. I indicate to members of the committee that it was proposed that the committee seek an extension for the reporting until 2004 - in a motion we passed today - to enable the committee to further consult individuals and others in respect of issues which have arisen in the course of consideration of its reference in this material. Members will also recall that, in its report of the accuracy of budget data presented in May 2002, the Public Accounts Committee made a recommendation to refer Standing Order 263 to the Standing Orders Committee for its consideration and report. Having considered the matters raised in the context of the Public Accounts Committee report and the written advice provided to that committee by the Clerk, the committee considered the issues of concern raised by the Public Accounts Committee and resolved that it should recommend that Standing Order 263 be amended to include interests other than pecuniary interests, as matters which should concern members in respect of personal interests, in particular, in respect of participating in committees proceedings. Members will also be aware of the issue relating to breastfeeding - an interesting discussion for parliament and the implication of standing orders, which was raised following an incident in the Victorian parliament. The Standing Orders Committee has considered the issues raised and concluded that the relevant Northern Territory standing order is similar in wording to that in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and, accordingly, it is available to Madam Speaker, at any time, to rule that if a member was required to be in the Chamber, it would be in order for that member, if necessary, to bring an infant into the Chamber to be breastfed. The committee recommends that the committee not amend standing orders at this time. The Standing Orders Committee has drawn to its attention an apparent anomaly between the time allowed for the ringing of the bells for quorums, which is currently set for two minutes in Standing Orders 36, 37 and 39, and the provision for bells to be rung for three minutes for divisions. It was explained to the committee that, when the Legislative Assembly moved into this building, it was agreed that division bells be rung for three minutes in order to allow members to be able to access the Chamber from the furthest parts of the building. In an apparent oversight, the time for ringing the bells for quorums was not extended. Accordingly, the committee recommends that Standing Orders 36, 37 and 39 be amended to allow the bells to be rung for three minutes. MOTION Print Report - Standing Orders Committee - Second Report of Ninth Assembly, June 2003 Mr HENDERSON (Leader of Government Business): Madam Speaker, I move that the report be printed. Motion agreed to. MOTION Adopt Report and Recommendations - Standing Orders Committee - Second Report of Ninth Assembly, June 2003 Mr HENDERSON (Leader of Government Business): Madam Speaker, I move that the Assembly adopt the report and recommendations of the Standing Orders Committee, and that I have leave to continue my remarks at a later hour. Motion agreed to. STATEMENT BY SPEAKER Alice Springs Sittings Post-Event Review Madam SPEAKER: Honourable members, I am pleased to report to the Assembly that the Department of the Legislative Assembly has carried out a post-event review of the Alice Springs sittings in respect of the planning, support and administrative arrangements. As you can appreciate, this event was very much a learning experience for the department. Despite the knowledge gained from regional sittings in Victoria and Queensland, it was evident that no two venues are the same regarding the staging of the event. Essentially, Alice Springs provided a significant challenge due to the distance travelled and the level of support required. Irrespective of some initial concerns, most of these were quickly allayed due to the