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Wednesday, 11 April 1973
Page: 1291

Mr TURNER (Bradfield) - The Minis ter for Services and Property (Mr Daly) sat down and said he would not continue to answer an earlier question with regard to which I had raised a point of order. Mr Speaker, the matter still stands in the record of Hansard as an answer which you allowed. Sir, I wish to dissent from that ruling and not to leave it in Hansard as it stands, because I believe that the time has come when irrelevant answers by Ministers must be curbed. Mr Speaker, I move:

That the ruling be dissented from.

Mr SPEAKER - You will have to put it in writing. (The motion having been submitted in writing) -

Mr TURNER - Mr Speaker,I move:

That this House dissents from Mr Speaker's ruling to the effect that the reply of the Minister for Services and Property was in order when he canvassed a redistribution of electorates in New South Wales contrary to the provisions of standing order 142.

Standing order 142 reads as follows:

Questions may be put to a Minister relating to public affairs with which he is officially connected, to proceedings pending in the House, or to any matter of administration for which he is responsible.

This is not a matter - plainly, obviously and beyond question - for which the Minister for Services and Property is responsible in the course of his administration. He has nothing to do with the redistribution of electorates in New South Wales. I do not think I need say very much in support of this motion. For too long we have heard long and irrelevant answers to questions and this has to stop.

Mr Keogh - It happened under the last Government.

Mr Cohen - What did Ministers in the last Government do?

Mr TURNER - I do not mind what the last Government did. Mr Speaker is here to uphold the Standing Orders. If wrong rulings were given in the past it is for the present Speaker to ensure that correct rulings are given now. It does not follow that because wrong rulings were given in the past they should be followed for ever afterwards. Time and again in the courts decisions have been made which were bad decisions and subsequently they have been reviewed. This happened time and again. You, Mr Speaker, stand in no different position.

Mr Mathews - Why did you sit quietly all those years? Why didn't you object before?

Mr TURNER - Somebody asked why I have not objected before. I have always objected to the way this Parliament was conducted whether I was on the government side or this side of the House. I object once again to the way this House is being prostituted. I need say nothing more in support of my motion. My motion stands. Mr Speaker, you have only to read standing order 142 in connection with the answer that the Minister has given to realise that the answer was completely out of order.

Mr SPEAKER - Is the motion seconded?

Mr Lynch - I second the motion.

Mr SPEAKER - Do your reserve your right to speak?

Mr Lynch - I reserve my right to speak.

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