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The Speaker made the following statement:

On 6 June 2013, the Leader of the Opposition raised a matter of privilege in relation to the Matter for Public Importance not being proceeded with earlier on that sitting day.

As background to this matter, on 6 June 2013 I received two proposals for matters of public importance to be discussed; one from the Member for Throsby and one from the Leader of the Opposition. As required by the standing orders and practice, I selected the matter that I considered should be proposed to the House for discussion, namely the matter proposed by the Member for Throsby. At the time for the MPI, again in accordance with the standing orders, I read the proposed matter to the House. As neither the proposer was in attendance to support it nor an additional seven members standing to support it as required by the standing orders, the matter lapsed. It was not open to me under the standing orders to propose another matter for discussion.

So far as I can ascertain, the only circumstances in which a proposer has not been in the Chamber to support their matter of public importance has been where there has been some misadventure, or other processes of the House have prevented them from being present.

I do not consider the action of a proposer of a matter of public importance in absenting themselves from the Chamber, either deliberately or not, when the matter is read out gives rise to any issue of contempt such as would warrant precedence being given to a motion to refer the matter to the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests.

However, matters of public importance are a significant part of the House’s proceedings and I believe that all members should show respect for the processes of the House. These processes allow important opportunities for all members and all members should recognise this.