Members in Their Places

(Continued from 12 November 2019).

The PRESIDENT (14:21): I have a further statement on a matter that was raised by the Treasurer yesterday. During question time yesterday, the Hon. Ms Scriven occupied the seat of the Hon. Kyam Maher. The Treasurer posed the question, or openly mused, as to whether it was in accordance with the standing orders for the member to ask her question from another member’s place. Standing order 47 states:

Members shall be entitled to retain the seats occupied by them at the time of their taking their seats for the first time after their election, so long as they may continue Members of the Council without re-election.

Standing order 167 states:

Every Member desiring to speak shall rise uncovered, in their place or in the place of some other Member who does not object thereto, and address the President; and may advance to the Table for the purpose of continuing the address.

The issue has been raised in past parliaments, and in particular I refer to rulings by President Duncan in 1957 and 1959 where he declared that members were permitted to occupy another member’s place provided no objection was taken by the member concerned.

So unless the Hon. Mr Maher objects to the Hon. Ms Scriven occupying his place—and I understand that he does not—I will recognise her from that place. However, I do encourage members, and have in the past encouraged members, to address the chamber from their designated place and not take licence to attempt to address the chamber from any place where they please. Are there any questions on those statements?

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: I have a question on that second statement. Is there a difficulty with an ability for a member to occupy the same seat when they were elected? For example, a person may have been elected as part of a party that formed government and then they were re-elected and they were part of the opposition. The protocol of this place is that people do change their seats and they are not allowed to keep the same seat that they had when they were first elected. Is that an inconsistency or a problem with the standing orders?

The PRESIDENT: No, because the standing orders accommodate the fact that it will change after election.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: Separately?

The PRESIDENT: Yes. The President reallocates the seats post-election. The standing order states that you are entitled to retain your seat between elections.

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