House debates

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Statement by the Speaker

Federation Chamber, Parliament House: Security

9:31 am

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

I have to report that the Deputy Speaker has informed me that yesterday the Federation Chamber was adjourned early because of disorder by members on both sides. I understand that following a number of closure motions moved by members on both sides, with consequent unresolved questions, the Federation Chamber was suspended. When the meeting was resumed another closure was moved. In the Deputy Speaker's view and in my view these repeated motions were an abuse of the forms of the House and were disorderly. Members on both sides should be aware of how this conduct reflects on the House and I trust there will be no repetition. If there is, members may simply be denying themselves the opportunity to make the kinds of remarks so many of them would wish to make at this time of the year.

Members will know, from the blue, that I also intend to make a statement on the electronic access control system and the code of practice which governs it. This won't be particular news to members of the House of Representatives, who have been making use of the electronic key access to offices now for, I think, about a year. But obviously, as members would expect, there needs to be a code of practice with that, as there is with the closed-circuit television monitoring system. I've been very pleased that members have allowed that to be switched on and really trusted my stewardship of it in the period, but that is not a long-term solution, so we've been discussing matters with the Leader of the House and the Manager of Opposition Business, and I'll have something else to say later today and move a motion to that effect. It really is just around privilege. I just thought I'd let members know. I'll probably come back to that prior to question time, in consultation with the Leader of the House and the Manager of Opposition Business.