Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1509 ..
MR HANSON: I am disappointed that this motion is before us. As I said, I think that there are a number of reasons why this is an inappropriate motion that tramples all over the independence of the standards commissioner. It tramples all over, potentially, the independence of the Information Commissioner. There are people out there that we have set up to do certain jobs and this trawling for information, I think, is highly inappropriate and we will not be supporting this motion.
MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (5.07): I stand today as the Greens spokesperson for integrity matters. The integrity of this Assembly is very important and requires constant vigilance to maintain. This particular issue creates head-scratching technical and procedural questions, given that the alleged incident happened whilst not a member of this Assembly. I do not think that anyone in this chamber disagrees that the Commissioner for Standards is the best person to consider this matter. The Commissioner for Standards is extremely skilled and experienced at investigating matters. I trust him fully to get to the truth of this matter, outside of the partisan politics which we are witnessing inside this Assembly.
It is in everyone’s best interests, including Mr Milligan’s, that questions about this matter do not linger for longer than they have to and to ensure that no question remains after the completion of this process. Therefore, we support the Assembly referring this matter today to the Commissioner for Standards. It is important for the Assembly to have visibility of the outcomes of the commissioner’s inquiry. If it is a private referral, the Assembly will not be able to have visibility of that and will not be able to be assured of the completeness of the process. Therefore, we support this referral.
I just wish to correct one matter. The individual that Mr Hanson referred to during his speech was, in fact, a Democrats candidate in the past and a previous member of the Greens.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (5.08), by leave: There seems to be some confusion. I think Mr Braddock was saying that he supports this because it is a referral to the Commissioner for Standards. On my reading of this motion, that is not the case. It says, “consider whether the matter should be referred to the Assembly’s Commissioner for Standards for investigation.” It does not actually have a referral to the Commissioner for Standards.
I just say that because I am a little bit confused. If that is the intent, then the matter has been referred to the Commissioner for Standards. So what is the intent of this motion? Mr Braddock seems to think that that is what the intent is. Is there an amendment, then, to that effect? Based on the clause in here, it is asking for information and then further consideration as to whether it should or not. There is no referral in this motion.
MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (5.10), by leave: I wish to clarify the comments I made earlier that Mr Hanson seems to be confused about. Given that we are now referring to two separate motions, I got my words confused in terms of the intent of the particular motion. I just wish to clarify that the Greens are very keen to see this matter