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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 4 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 1488..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

Finally, in relation to bore licensing, there is an anomaly between the Water Resources Act and the water resources regulations that could prevent the construction of bores solely for the purpose of monitoring groundwater. The bill includes a new provision that will permit the construction of monitoring bores to the same construction standards as production bores.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Reference

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, before you take the floor, I might foreshadow issues that I see may arise in this discussion today. I would take the opportunity to remind members of standing order 156 relating to conflict of interest, which states:

A Member who is a party to, or has a direct or indirect interest in, a contract made by or on behalf of the Territory or a Territory authority shall not take part in a discussion of a matter, or vote on a question, in a meeting of the Assembly where the matter or question relates directly or indirectly to that contract.

I remind members of that provision.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, on that subject—and I raised this with the Clerk before the Assembly gathered today—there is a precedent in this place for members to be absented from the debate and the vote in relation to these things. I refer directly to the fact that Mr Seselja was, by vote of the Assembly, excluded from a debate on the employment of family members back in 2008.

Mr Barr yesterday confirmed that a member of his staff is on the ALP state executive, or whatever it is called here, which is subject to this debate and this review which Mr Smyth is going to deal with. I also understand that a member of Ms Gallagher's staff is also on the state executive, and I would seek your ruling on whether those members can participate in this debate.

Mr Corbell: Just on the point of order, Mr Speaker, I think the standing order relates to the interest of the member, not of people employed by the member. In any event, we would not take the view that there is any conflict in this regard. In fact, this matter has been raised in relation to a range of issues around gaming legislation by the Liberal Party in this place for as long as I have been a member of this place. The Labor Party has never accepted that there is a conflict in that regard, and the Assembly has not required any Labor Party member to absent themselves from a vote in relation to any gaming matter as a result of this standing order.

So, given that history that the Assembly has not required Labor Party members to exclude themselves or absent themselves from discussion or debate or votes on matters relating to gaming legislation, and given that the staff of Mr Barr and indeed


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