Parliamentary record : Part I debates (25 May 1988)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 25 May 1988 The 6-hour limit is a reasonable compromise, and it will mean that the opposition will have to do its homework. If it spends 3 hours on Questions about a particular division, limited time will remain in which to ask questions on the other divisions. It will mean that we will no longer have a gabfest. The proceedings will be structured and meaningful and we will not have statements bein9 delivered. Instead, there will be questions. One has only to pick up Hansard to see numerous examples of the type of statements that were delivered. As a result of the committee's recommendation, the opposition tactic which has doubled the time it takes for the Appropriation Bill to pass through the Assembly will be stopped. I commend the committee for its recommendation. The Leader of the Opposition raised a very important question about a minister being able to answer a question that had been asked of him during the course of a previous sittings or during an adjournment debate. The minister will now be permitted to answer such a question after 11 am. There will still be a full hour of question time. After 11 am, the minister will be able to answer such a question within a maximum period of 10 minutes. I believe that this also is worth while. I trust that the Leader of the Opposition supports the committee's recommendation in that regard. I would be aghast if he did not. The other question that the committee discussed was the adjournment. There was a proposal that a certain hour be determined by which the Assembly must adjourn. Another proposal was to reduce the time limit on adjournment speeches from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. In respect of both proposals, we decided to maintain the status quo. The adjournment debate or grievance debate can be very worth while. Some very good contributions are made in the adjournment debate. I certainly was not in favour of either proposal. Mr Speaker, I believe that the committee has submitted a very worthwhile and workable report. The opposition has been found out. The facts are there for everybody to read. Mr Bell: You did not say this today, Barry. Mr COULTER: Mr Speaker, it would have been very difficult for me to have said it today whilst an ABC reporter was leading the sole opposition representative out the door to a press conference. If he had had more time to stay in the committee room, I would have been able to develop this. Mr Bell: That is a lie. Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member for MacDonnell will withdraw that remark. Mr BELL: withdraw it, Mr Speaker. Mr COULTER: Mr Speaker, I believe that the committee has come up with a very workable proposition. It is to be implemented on a trial basis by way of a sessional order. I commend the report. Motion agreed to. PERSONAL EXPLANATION Mr BEll (MacDonnell)(by leave): explanation under standing order 257. the leader of Government Business. Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal I have been gravely misrepresented by I remind you, Mr Speaker, that the 3348
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