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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1505 ..

Amendment negatived.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

Legislative Assembly—conduct

Debate resumed.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.52): I am very disappointed that this motion is being brought before this place. As Ms Burch or Madam Speaker—I am not sure which role she is playing here at the moment—said when she moved this motion, she was not going to do it, then she was going to do it, then there was an adjournment until a later hour. I am not sure why we adjourned the matter if we were going to proceed.

We certainly will not be supporting this motion that has been brought before us today. It is a highly partisan and inappropriate witch-hunt. The trawling for information is a little bit of a fishing exercise. The real intent of this is to smear Mr Milligan. That is what is happening here. It is a partisan, deliberate move by the Speaker to smear Mr Milligan. That is what is happening in this place.

I must say, the fact that the Speaker would move such a motion brings her and this place into discredit. She knows, as we all know, that she has done it this way to try and create this smear, trying to get the Assembly to do it because, under the code of conduct, vexatious and politically motivated referrals to the Commissioner for Standards would be a breach of the code of conduct. She did not want to go down the route, understandably, because I think that what we would find is that this would be the case.

Let me go to a number of reasons why we will not be supporting this motion, this smear motion. Firstly, I make the point that Mr Milligan has referred these issues in this motion to the commissioner, not because of any view that they have substance but because, essentially, they have been litigated. This motion has been sitting on the notice paper. So in the interests of accountability, he has done so. I note that that is the intent of this. At the end of the day, what the Speaker is trying to do is get this referred to the Commissioner for Standards. That has been done. That was done two days ago.

I am not sure what the point of having a debate in this place about a referral to the Commissioner for Standards is when that had been done two days ago. Ms Burch is well aware of that because I sent her an email to advise her of that two days ago.

Secondly, as I just said, it is before the Commissioner for Standards. He is an independent body. We have appointed him an office holder, an independent body to conduct investigations of members of this place. If you refer to standing orders, you will see all the appointment. You can go to the website. We should all be aware of what his role is.

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