Page 1047 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022
Members should make only proper use of those public resources to which they have access, and should do so in a manner designed to make effective and efficient use of those resources.
Here we have a member who has included their ACT Legislative Assembly contact details in this letter on federal government issues, the federal government and a federal Greens party. If you receive this letter in your mailbox and you have a question or you want to talk to someone about it or you want to make a suggestion, where are you going to go? “It has a phone number here. I’m going to call that number,” which will be answered by either Mr Davis or one of his ACT Assembly staff sitting in a lovely climate-controlled building paid for by the ACT taxpayer, at a desk and with a chair paid for by the ACT taxpayer, with a telephone paid for by the ACT taxpayer. Mr Davis is meant to be using those resources for matters of the ACT Legislative Assembly, not to promote his federal counterparts. The email address is there, too. It is a different email address, but it is the ACT Legislative Assembly contact details, email@example.com. That is an Assembly-provided resource supported by Assembly staff, paid for by ACT taxpayers.
This is not an appropriate use of Assembly resources. This appears to be in direct contravention of the letter from the Clerk circulated on 11 April. This appears to be in direct contravention of the members’ Code of Conduct, which Mr Davis affirmed after he was elected here. This is an appalling use of Assembly resources. Saying that he did not know or was not sure shows an astounding level of contempt for this Assembly; that he has not paid any attention to this affirmation of the Code of Conduct; that he has not paid any attention to the letter from the Clerk circulated on 11 April; and that he feels he can do whatever he likes and then perhaps go, “I’m sorry; I didn’t know. I didn’t understand.”
Everyone here knows that ignorance is no excuse. Ignorance is no defence, especially after you have affirmed your understanding and agreement of the members’ Code of Conduct in this place, especially after the Clerk has specifically drawn these matters to your attention! This is an appalling use of Assembly resources, and that is why I am asking the Assembly today to refer this matter to the Commissioner for Standards. My colleagues and I believe that this is an appalling use of Assembly resources, but it is up to the Commissioner for Standards to investigate this matter and come up with a decision.
That is why I am calling on all of our colleagues here to refer this to the Commissioner for Standards. It is the appropriate place for this investigation to take place. If this does not get referred to the Commissioner for Standards, what does it say about the culture of Labor and the Greens? Where they are prepared to let this egregious misuse of Assembly resources take place, what does this say about their commitment to honesty, integrity, diligence, transparency and accountability? I am not going to answer that question; I am sure you all know what the answer is and what it will say about the members in this place if they do not support this motion calling on the Assembly to refer this matter to the Commissioner for Standards!
MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (10.16): I thank Ms Lawder for bringing this motion to the Assembly; genuinely I do. And at the very first instance I make an undertaking to the Assembly that I will refer myself to the Commissioner of Standards before the close