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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (16 August) . . Page.. 2259..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

members of staff of non-executive members currently employed and who may be employed in the future in a continuing sense.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.10): I rise to support Mr Berry's motion. I had some initial concerns about it. Everyone is aware that there is a situation here where there is a family member employed. But after discussions with Mr Berry yesterday afternoon it is fairly clear that this motion will not impact on that situation. It is good policy, to me. In many societies, employing members of the family makes a lot of sense. One hopes one can trust one's family members and expect them to do the right thing by that obligation.

This is not the approach we have in Western democracies. Here we set store by our codes of conduct and legal responsibility. It is important to the community that they see people acting with transparency and accountability and that they are not beholden to any personal obligations. In our small parliament, which is still trying to find its way-and there are still people out there, I believe, who hold a no self-government view-it is particularly important that we look very much as though we are, as we are, not feathering our own nests. For that reason, I will be supporting the amendment to the code.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra-Leader of the Opposition) (4.12): Mr Berry alluded to the Liberal Party having effectively put in place a very similar provision and a rule which we have been guided by for a couple of years now. I hear what everyone says in relation to this debate. I suppose we had a bit of a concern that, whilst for major parties such as ourselves and the Labor Party this made eminent sense, there may be some problem. Mr Berry has taken the initiative of replacing the present provision with this.

I mention here what Dr Foskey said on that. Some other members of the Assembly-the minor parties or independents-may have some difficulty there, but we certainly have had a position in our party for a couple of years now that we certainly do not appoint close relatives to positions in members offices.

MR BERRY (Ginninderra) (4.13), in reply: I thank members for their support.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Education (School Closures Moratorium) Amendment Bill 2006

Statement by member

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.14): I seek leave to make an explanation before I present the bill standing in my name on the notice paper.

Leave granted.

DR FOSKEY: Obviously, I come before you quite humbly. I want to explain why it took me a moment to get down here. I was planning to eat my lunch in the little lobby, and then I would have been able to come in very quickly. But guess what? There were no chairs. All the chairs were brought down here for the British parliamentary delegation. I sat on the table for a moment. I went upstairs and I missed the call. There was a whole progression of circumstances. Of course, I acknowledge my own fallibility in this, but I felt that it was essential that I had some nourishment before I gave my speech.


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