Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 28 October 2010) . . Page.. 5258 ..


The committee received a briefing from the Auditor-General in relation to the report on 12 August 2010, and a submission from the government on 3 August 2010. The committee has resolved to inquire further into the report and is expecting to report to the Assembly as soon as practicable.

Statement by chair

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (11.22): Pursuant to Standing Order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to the committee’s inquiry into the exposure draft of the Financial Management (Ethical Investment) Legislation Amendment Bill 2010.

At its meeting on Wednesday, 22 September 2010, the Legislative Assembly passed the following resolution:

That the exposure draft of the Financial Management (Ethical Investment) Legislation Amendment Bill be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry and report.

I wish to inform the Assembly as to how the Standing Committee on Public Accounts has determined and agreed to progress its inquiry into the exposure draft of the Financial Management (Ethical Investment) Legislation Amendment Bill.

It is on the public record that I hold 4.98 per cent of the shares in Australian Ethical Investment and that I was an executive director of Australian Ethical Investment for 17 years. Australian Ethical Investment is an ASX listed company based in Canberra that is a retail funds manager specialising in ethical investments.

Since the first meeting at which the committee considered the referral, it has carefully reflected on and discussed whether or not there is any possible—real or perceived—conflict of interest by a member in the inquiry. As part of this process I also provided advice, which I had previously sought, to the committee from the Assembly’s ethics adviser indicating that, in his opinion, no conflict of interest existed.

The committee unanimously agreed that no member has a real conflict of interest. The committee came to this conclusion because no recommendations of the committee could directly cause investment changes by the ACT government or any other entity. The committee also believes that even if the Legislative Assembly was to fully or partly pass the Financial Management (Ethical Investment) Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 there is no reason to believe that I would benefit financially from that decision.

However, to avoid any possible perception of a conflict of interest, I, as chair of the committee, offered to relinquish this role for the purposes of this inquiry and the deputy chair agreed to chair the inquiry.

The committee is also aware of standing order 224, pecuniary interest, which states:

A member may not sit on a committee if that member has any direct pecuniary interest in the inquiry before such committee.


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video