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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 10 May 2018) . . Page.. 1771 ..


(a) the ruling of the High Court of Australia that Ms Katy Gallagher was ineligible under the Australian Constitution to stand as a candidate for election to the Australian Senate at the 2016 Federal election;

(b) the motion of the Chief Minister presented to, and passed by, the Assembly on 25 March 2015, that Ms Gallagher, “a person who is eligible to be a senator”, be chosen to fill a casual vacancy in the Australian Senate;

(c) subsequently, the Assembly may have misled the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and, thus, the Australian Parliament as to Ms Gallagher’s eligibility to fill the casual vacancy; and

(2) hereby:

(a) establishes a Privileges Committee:

(i) comprising one Member of the Government, one Member of the Crossbench and one Member of the Opposition, and chaired by the Member of the Opposition;

(ii) to consider whether the Assembly has been misled in the matter of the appointment of Ms Gallagher to fill the casual vacancy in the Australian Senate; and

(iii) to report to the Assembly by the last sitting day in the June 2018 sitting period; and

(b) requests the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure to:

(i) review the processes the Assembly follows to appoint persons to fill casual vacancies in the Australian Senate, including their eligibility under the Australian Constitution; and

(ii) report to the Assembly by the last sitting day in the June 2018 sitting period.

I thank members for giving me leave to move this motion today. I believe that this Assembly has been misled. The circumstances of that misleading we do not yet exactly know. But one way or another the systems that we have in place either have not worked or incorrect information has been fed into those systems. Regardless, as at the time that this Assembly chose a person who we thought was eligible to be a senator in the Australian Senate, we now know that this was simply not the case. In effect, we have all been deceived. Whether that was intentional, whether it was wilful, we do not yet know. But we simply cannot have a situation again where members of the Assembly are put in such a compromised situation.

When Ms Lundy resigned from the Senate, Ms Gallagher flagged her intention to run for that vacancy. She resigned from this place and put her hand up for Labor Party preselection. She won that preselection. Then the Chief Minister tabled documents in this place on 25 March stating that Ms Gallagher was a person eligible to be an Australian senator.

I believe that we need to establish a privileges committee to look into all the events surrounding what happened back in March 2015. We also need to make recommendations as to how we can go forward with this in the future. Who is to say


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