Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1496 ..
various sorts, including community organisations. So that could come into the debate as well.
If we are going to apply the argument which is being proposed by Mrs Dunne, that could be applied in any debate which happens here, including debates on community organisations and funding. I think if we go into that realm, it is very questionable and becomes quite blurry in terms of what we are going to look at. The matter in Mrs Dunne’s motion does not concern the question of contracts between members and their staff. It does not concern that.
The point which Mr Corbell did make is one to mention again, that the commission did not find there was misconduct. So we do have to look at what the commission ruled as well in the report.
We do not support the motion which has been put forward by Mrs Dunne. If we look at the application of the standing order, it is quite clear that it cannot be supported.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.56): I refer members back to the Hansard of August 2008 where, in fact, the Assistant Speaker, Mr Gentleman, came in and delivered it as a ruling. His interpretation of 156 was: “I can bump anybody out of this place at any time.” I note what was said earlier but I asked the Assistant Speaker and he said, “I have made a ruling that the code of conduct will affect Mr Seselja and standing order 156.” He prospectively said that, if this law is passed and the amendment that was never moved is passed, a code of conduct that does not exist will be applied to Mr Seselja before the debate gets there. That is not what we are saying.
With all due respect, Ms Bresnan, your comment that it is pretty clear is incorrect. If you go to standing order 156—and this is the bit that Mr Corbell forgot to read out—it goes on to say, after “shall not take part in a discussion of a matter, or vote on a question”, and this is the bit that was not read out “in a meeting of the Assembly where the matter or question relates directly or indirectly to that contract”.
The point that we will be discussing this morning—and it needs to be read into the record—is that Mr Corbell’s defence that the commission has not found anything, could not find anything, is not true. The report refers to “clearest evidence” and states:
The Commission found that there was considerable evidence that attempts were made to direct and influence …
It is not an offence under the act until the influence has had its effect, that they tried and failed lets them off the hook. But the recommendation that the minister’s office will have to look at is that a member of the committee that is subject to the recommendation sits in his office as chief of staff. The report says:
In order to lessen the possibility that conflicts with the Gaming Machine Act 2004 will arise in the future …
It found “clearest evidence” and “considerable evidence” and it does not want this to happen again. The report states: