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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (29 November) . . Page.. 5149 ..


I will signal that the government will agree with the Greens amendment to define a serious disciplinary offence as one that warrants a serious employment penalty, such as demotion, suspension or probation. That, I think, sets the appropriate benchmark here, not something that would result in an employee receiving counselling or some other form of support to rectify their performance.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (5.47): This is an issue that we have given some very careful thought to. We have wanted the integrity commission to have sufficient scope to look at matters that may relate to corruption. What we do not want is to have the commission stepping into the role of essentially doing what a manager should be doing in the public service where there has been some relatively minor level of misconduct.

In light of that, it is also reflected in the fact that there is clear agreement across the table that we want the commission to focus on serious and systemic corruption. That is one benchmark that we have all agreed to, and I think there is scope that misconduct could point to that serious and systemic corruption at times. But we are very clear here that, with the minor misconduct, there have been all sorts of examples talked about, whether it is somebody repeatedly coming to work under the influence of alcohol or pilfering stationery from the stationery cupboard; they are the sorts of examples that have been thrown around a little bit.

For me, the notion of bullying is a good example. You could see bullying of the variety that we do see in the workplace, which can be very destructive for an individual, but it is not corruption. It should be dealt with as a matter of human resources and as a matter of discipline. However, if bullying moved into the territory of seeking to influence the outcome of a tender, by using bullying to influence that process, that would fall into this category.

For me, that is the distinction that we have sought to draw. I think it is a line that can be appropriately defined. When we get to it in a moment, I will move an amendment which describes the definition of serious disciplinary offence. We believe that that will suitably address what the Assembly is seeking to address.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 9 : Mr Coe, Mr Milligan, Mrs Dunne, Mr Parton, Mrs Jones, Mr Wall, Mrs Kikkert, Ms Lawder, Ms Lee

Noes 12 : Mr Barr, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Berry, Ms Orr, Ms J Burch, Mr Pettersson, Ms Cheyne, Mr Rattenbury, Ms Fitzharris, Mr Steel, Mr Gentleman, Ms Stephen-Smith

Amendment negatived.


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