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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 1 Hansard (25 February) . . Page.. 20..


art and artistic freedom in this city. We should be worried that that is a position being espoused by the opposition.

In relation to the retweet of an offensive tweet, Ms Burch and I met following that and I accepted Ms Burch's explanation of the mistake that was made. I have also accepted that she has taken every step available to her to rectify that mistake.

When I make judgements about the measure of a minister, I look at a whole range of things: I look at their performance; their work ethic; the passion and interest they bring to their portfolio; I look at the strategic direction they set in terms of mapping out a way of delivering in their portfolio area within the financial resources and the capability of the ACT government; I look at implementation of government priorities and how that fits within the workload of the minister; I assess it on connections with the community; and I assess it in adherence to the ministerial code of conduct.

In relation to the ministers code of conduct—and it will be interesting when concerns are raised about members breaching the members code of conduct—it does not require a minister to resign or be sacked because a mistake is made. That is not what the ministerial code of conduct is about. I know there will be varying interpretations and that the Canberra Liberals will have a far different view on interpreting the ministers code of conduct than they will on interpreting the members code of conduct when it applies to their own.

Mistakes are made—I have made mistakes and every single one of my colleagues on this side will have made a mistake in the performance of their duties, just as I imagine each one of you will have if we are incredibly honest with ourselves. The important thing is what you do about those mistakes and how quickly you respond to them.

In relation to the retweet, as I understand it, within minutes of having it drawn to her attention the tweet was deleted. It is the effort you go to to apologise for the offence that is caused. Ms Burch has done that in terms of contacting Minister Pyne's office and seeking to speak with Minister Pyne himself. When she was not able to, she relayed a very sincere apology to his chief of staff. It is the effort to ensure that you get across the technology so a mistake like that will not happen again. It is fronting up to the court of public opinion—the community—and saying, "Yes, I made a mistake, and this is what I've done since." There is nothing further Minister Burch could have done beyond coming in here and standing in this place, taking every media request made of her and explaining what happened. That is the measure of an individual; not that mistakes will not happen.

In relation to the tweet, it was a mistake. In relation to the other areas Mr Hanson has outlined, I simply do not accept them as reflecting poorly on Minister Burch. I think she works incredibly hard in very challenging portfolios that many of us in this place would not actively seek out because of how hard that work is, and she rises to the challenge every single time.

MRS JONES (Molonglo) (10.55): I rise today to support this motion of no confidence in Minister Burch. I am here to concentrate on the things that matter to vulnerable women in the ACT and the goodwill of the multicultural community in the ACT.


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