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Tuesday, 24 June 2003
Page: 17297

Mrs CROSIO (3:28 PM) —Mr Speaker, I am seeking some guidance. I know that the member for Grayndler touched on standing order 55. In the question asked by the member for Macarthur of the Treasurer, this side of the House witnessed 74 members of this House yelling out, 13 times, `Shame!' Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether that is permissible debate in this parliament under that standing order, given that two members of this side of the House were removed for interjecting?

The SPEAKER —The member for Prospect has been in this House for some time. As she is well aware, it is most unusual for the occupier of the chair to interrupt someone who is interjecting unless that interjection is interrupting the person who has the call. The case of people saying, `Hear, hear,' for example, while it may be deemed to be interjecting, is not normally acted on by the chair. It is fair for the member for Prospect to observe that chorusing is not in order. I have made that observation myself. I did, however—recognising that the Treasurer was being supported, not interrupted—tolerate but not appreciate what was happening. I subsequently tolerated a number of interjections—conveniently not listed by the member for Prospect—from the left of my chair. I did my best to be even-handed about that. If it would suit the member for Prospect for me to be firmer with all interjections, I will do so. This was an instance where the interjections were seen to be supportive and it has been the practice of the chair not to interrupt those interjections from whichever side they have come.