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Thursday, 19 June 2003
Page: 17062

Mr LATHAM (3:33 PM) —Mr Speaker, I draw your attention to notice No. 4 on today's Notice Paper placed there by the Leader of the House, Mr Abbott which in part provides that standing order 93 be suspended for the remainder of this period of sittings except when a motion is moved pursuant to the standing order by a minister. This is the first time in the 102-year history of the House of Representatives that an attempt has been made to knock out standing order 93 and restrict its use to ministers rather than members of the House across the House. I would ask you, Mr Speaker: will you now counsel the Leader of the House against enforcement of this provision, thereby guaranteeing the democratic right of all elected members, not just ministers, to move the closure of the question under standing order 93? Will you now defend the rights of the parliament against the power and arrogance of the executive government?

The SPEAKER —If the chair were to undertake counselling of members, I would be a very busy occupier of the chair indeed. I will do whatever the House dictates.