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Thursday, 14 February 2008
Page: 400

Mr RANDALL (3:33 PM) —Mr Speaker, I have two questions to you. The first one is by way of elimination. I am interested to know whether members opposite, before making their maiden speeches, are entitled to ask questions. If that is the case, fine. My second question is about you, Mr Speaker. Given that parliament is to sit on Fridays, will you yourself be here all of Friday?

The SPEAKER —I will answer the easy one first. Members are allowed to ask questions before they have made their maiden speeches. It is quite clear.

Mr Tuckey interjecting

The SPEAKER —No, Member for O’Connor; that is not the case. It is not their maiden speech. On the second matter: I am obliged by standing orders to attend to open proceedings of the parliament on any day. As I am obliged to implement the standing and sessional orders as decided by the House, that will be my intention.

Mr Randall —Further to my question, Mr Speaker: the question was whether you will be here for all of the day.

The SPEAKER —I am not making any promises but I assume I probably will be. It is a sitting day.

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER —Order!

Mr Snowdon —You have no trouble standing up.

The SPEAKER —Very close, Minister, very close. I emphasise the point that I do not wish to enter into the debate that went on until two o’clock in the morning on the first day of sitting. I am obliged under the standing and sessional orders to ensure that the standing and sessional orders are implemented and I will be doing that faithfully on behalf of the House. Therefore, I believe that it is the responsibility of the Speaker to make themselves available for any day that parliamentary procedures are being carried out.