Page 1053 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022
letter about “contact me about local issues”. “Local issues” does not appear in this letter. It is all about his federal counterparts with his ACT Legislative Assembly contact details. It is not about local issues. It is about campaigning from his office here in the Legislative Assembly.
Just imagine, Madam Speaker, the outrage if I or one of my colleagues had such a letter about Senator Seselja, for example, or one of our other candidates in the Assembly using our ACT Legislative Assembly contact details. Can you imagine how Labor and the Greens would go to town about this breach of the code of conduct, about this breach that is going right against the Clerk’s letter about—as Mr Hanson referred to it—the crossing of the streams?
In effect, what these members and this Assembly are saying, by not supporting this motion—not setting the tone and not saying “This is not perhaps right and we want the Commissioner for Standards to look at it”—is that any of us could do that. Is that really what you are saying—that any of us could use our ACT Legislative Assembly office to campaign using our Assembly details? This is not my understanding of the way in which we do—and should—operate!
That is why I am asking the Assembly to support the motion, to demonstrate that they want to have this looked at—whether the Commissioner for Standards will find one way or the other, but to remove any doubt. That would give an example to all of us as to what is or is not acceptable going forward. This is not what I understand to be in keeping with the ACT members of the Legislative Assembly code of conduct—which I quoted from earlier—that we all reaffirmed not long after we were elected, and which was reminded to us by the Clerk in the letter circulated on 11 April, making it quite clear what is and is not acceptable.
That is why I want the Commissioner for Standards to look at it. That is why this is an opportunity for the Assembly to say whether or not it feels it is appropriate—not judge Mr Davis, necessarily—that the Commissioner for Standards should look at this. This is an opportunity to set the highest possible standards. Isn’t it funny, Madam Speaker, that those who speak the most about integrity are often the ones that feel they can flout the rules and do whatever they see fit? I commend my motion to the Assembly.
Mr Davis: Madam Speaker, on a point of order.
MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order.
Mr Davis: Ms Lawder’s motion asked for the issue to be referred to the Commissioner for Standards because, in her view, there is a question to be answered here. In her closing remarks, she sought to answer them, editorialising her inquiry that she would be asking for. I ask her to withdraw.
MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Davis.
I have been given some advice. The Assembly granted leave. By granting leave you suspend standing orders and you suspend continuing resolution 5AA. If the motion