Page 1794 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 June 2022
and saying, “I’m sorry about that. We got that one wrong. It was a terrible attack. I’m sorry that we smeared Mr Milligan.” There seems to be one argument from that side, but when the opposition and the opposition leader pursue something that this government admits does not pass the pub test and is a problem, apparently, “That’s just politics,” when we raise these issues.
Let us look at what the ministerial code of conduct says with regard to ministers. The code of conduct 2020 is available on the website. Under “Westminster Conventions” it states:
Ministers are answerable to the Assembly (and through the parliament to the people of the ACT) for the administration of their portfolio (including in relation to the expenditure of public money) …
He is responsible, under the Westminster conventions, for public money and the expenditure of it. We have all said that this does not pass the pub test. But, apparently, it is not the minister’s fault. Apparently, it is not his fault. You need to rewrite your ministerial code of conduct. Under “Ethical principles for ministers”, it states:
Ministers must be diligent in the performance of their duties and fulfil their obligations to the highest standards.
Has that happened? Has that happened at CIT? That is the question that we are asking. The view that we have formed, quite clearly, is that that has not happened in this case. Under “Accountability”, it states:
Ministers are accountable for their own behaviour and the decisions and actions of their staff. They are accountable, within accepted Westminster conventions, for their portfolio and directorates/agencies.
They are responsible. It seems that the minister does not want to take responsibility. The Chief Minister does not want to let the minister take responsibility, and instead spent his time, as did Mr Rattenbury, attacking Ms Lee. Under “Administrative resources”, it says:
Ministers must use administrative resources appropriately. Ministers must not permit public resources to be wasted or used in an improper manner.
Ms Lee has outlined the situation clearly. I think that it is of concern to all of us. The Chief Minister has accepted that there are problems here; Mr Rattenbury has accepted that there are problems; Mr Steel has accepted that there are problems.
What is clear is that when these issues were raised with the minister 14 months ago, his actions were ineffective. If they had been effective, do you think, members, that there would have been—I would say $5 million, but it is not, is it, because we know that it is $4.99999 million, to the decimal point—a contract raised? If this minister was someone that the CIT considered to be effective, was diligent and was actually doing his job, do you think that this contract would have arisen? Do you think that it