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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3686..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

A Minister should take all reasonable steps to avoid situations in which his or her private interests, whether pecuniary or otherwise, materially conflict, or have the potential to so conflict, with his or her public duty.

Chief Minister, have you sought advice from the ethics adviser as to whether your position on the admin committee of the ALP is a conflict of interest with regard to the proposed sale of the Labor Club Group? If so, when did you take this advice and, if not, why not?

MR STANHOPE: I have not taken that advice. I see no need to. There is absolutely no conflict of interest for me, nor indeed is there for any member of the Australian Labor Party in their involvement in the internal operations of their party, just, Mr Smyth, as there is, from my perspective, no conflict of interest for you or any of your colleagues in your activities in the Liberal Party, to the extent that the Liberal Party has any activities, of course, other than the creation of false Facebook sites, fake Facebook sites, fraudulent Facebook sites.

There is no conflict of interest. I am happy to have this conversation ad nauseam. Each of us, as members of this place, has a certain range of responsibilities and certain roles and we are subject, of course, to full and appropriate scrutiny in relation to those. We also have private lives and, in our private lives, we conduct private activities. One of mine is my membership of the Australian Labor Party, just as your membership of the Canberra Liberal Party is something you pursue in your capacity as a private citizen, as you are entitled to do.

Having said that, I do not disguise the fact that I have, in recent years, been supportive of the sale of, or at least the distancing of the Labor Party from, the Canberra Labor club.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Stanhope has the floor. Chief Minister, one moment, please. Members, if you would like to discuss that matter that you are discussing across the chamber, I suggest that somebody ask a question or take it up outside the chamber. Mr Stanhope has the floor.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I must say that is a very interesting conversation. The Liberal Party have now acknowledged that they do know who created the fake Facebook site but they will not actually identify the person for fear that he is going to be sued. That is a very interesting development in that particular case. It is quite interesting.

I will conclude on this point. I am actually now digressing. This is the position I have arrived at in a private capacity, not as Chief Minister. In a private capacity, as a member of the Labor Party, I have come to a view—and it is a view shared, I thought, by the Liberal Party—namely, that the Labor Party should distance itself and its association should dissociate itself from the licensed club industry. I am one of those within the party that supports that position. I am of those that believe that the Labor Party should.


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