Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 18 November 2010) . . Page.. 5676 ..
… I expect all members to observe appropriate standards …
Mr Speaker, was the reason for your caution to stop the inappropriate influence of minors, notably schoolchildren, and members of the public through political suggestion? How many instances were there, and will you name those members who abused the institution of the parliament?
MR SPEAKER: Thank you for your question, Mr Hargreaves. I did write this letter to all members after receiving several reports recently about what might be considered inappropriate conduct by members in these fora. These were instances at which, on the whole, I was not present. On that basis, I do not believe I am in a position to name specific instances. Nonetheless, I was sufficiently concerned that members were not treating these occasions in the way in which they should be.
It is my view that when groups of schoolchildren or, for that matter, as we have had this morning, University of the Third Age or other organisations, come to visit us through the education program, whilst members should obviously put their views about matters, I think there is a way to put a view without necessarily engaging in the sort of political behaviour that takes place in this chamber at times. I think it is upon us all, as members of the Assembly, to behave in a manner that upholds the dignity of the place and that it does not turn into some sort of opportunity to denigrate one’s political colleagues in a forum in which that is not supposed to take place, in my view, and from my understanding of the practices of this place.
MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker, and I thank you very much for that response. As the guardian of appropriate parliamentarianism in this place, Mr Speaker, do you believe that it is appropriate—
Mrs Dunne: That’s the job you want, though, isn’t it, Johnno?
MR HARGREAVES: I was not talking to you, Mrs Dunne; I was talking to the Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hargreaves. Just stick with the question, thank you.
MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. As the guardian of appropriate parliamentarianism and behaviour in this place, do you believe, in fact, that such a caution as issued by your good self when you identify that something is remiss is sufficient? Provided that a member acknowledges that that behaviour is such and apologises, is that the end of the matter?
Mr Smyth: Is that a speech or a question?
MR HARGREAVES: The second part of my supplementary question is: will you ask Mr Hanson to apologise for his behaviour?
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, my view is that I have not sought to identify specific members or specific incidences. These reports have come to me essentially