Where a question without notice relates to a Bill before the Council

The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (15:20): I thank the honourable member for her question. I am not sure whether it’s completely in order because my understanding is that you have a piece of legislation before the house that would require us to establish a register. In my view, that makes the question out of order because it relates to something that is on the Notice Paper, but be that as it may.

The PRESIDENT: Is the minister directing me?

The Hon. S.G. WADE: No, be that as it may. I am not raising a point of order.

The PRESIDENT: If the minister is going to raise it, I will have to rule on it. Which bill are we actually referring to?

The Hon. S.G. WADE: I wasn’t raising it as a point of order.

The PRESIDENT: No, but you have raised it and it’s now to the President’s attention. Which bill are we referring to? If it’s in the other house, that’s okay.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: Mr President, a further point of order on that: it’s actually specifically related to the contents of that bill in what the bill seeks to do, not the general issue, so it may well be in order.

The Hon. S.G. WADE: I am happy to address the general issue.

The PRESIDENT: Yes. I appreciate that, minister, but now that it has come to the President’s attention, which bill are we referring to?

The Hon. S.G. WADE: I am not aware of the bill I was referring to.

The PRESIDENT: Can the honourable member assist me? Which bill does the question address?

The Hon. S.G. WADE: And I am happy not to address the bill but to address the general issue.

The PRESIDENT: Yes, I know you are happy and want to satiate the question asked by the Hon. Ms Bonaros, but since it has been raised, to which bill does it refer?

The Hon. C. BONAROS: I am just trying to find the number on the Notice Paper, Mr President.

The Hon. S.G. WADE: It would be something like ‘assisted reproductive technology’.

The Hon. R.I. Lucas: No. 16, Private Members’ Business, Assisted Reproductive Treatment (Review Recommendations) Amendment Bill.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: No. 16, thank you.

The PRESIDENT: Obviously, I don’t have the benefit of an intimate knowledge of that bill, so my ruling, minister, will be that those parts of the question which relate generally to the topic but not specifically addressed by the bill are in order. The minister can shape his answer in accordance with that ruling, which means be very general.

The Hon. S.G. WADE: I am happy to answer but I wonder if it might be more facilitative if I give an undertaking to the honourable member to make a contribution on her private members’ bill, if possible, this afternoon or on another occasion.

The PRESIDENT: No, minister, it’s not a conversation. It’s a response to a question. I am going to take it that you have taken it on notice and will bring back a reply or you can respond to the member’s question in writing or, in fact, in the body of the debate.

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