Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2020 ..
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.32), by leave: I move:
That the report be adopted.
It is useful to go to the findings of the report. Recommendation 1 of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure is that no further action be taken against Mr Milligan for a breach of the code of conduct. With respect to the reason for that, the findings of the commissioner are quite clear. The commissioner was not able to find any evidence that he had misused his emails. Also, an important point was that at the time Mr Milligan was not a member of the Assembly and was not subject to the code. I have paraphrased his findings. The summation is:
Since I am unable to find that Mr Milligan inappropriately used information derived from his constituent list and the Thank You note was disseminated when he was not a Member of the Assembly, I recommend that the complaint be dismissed.
Recommendation 2 of the report says:
The Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure, as part of its major review of standing orders during this Assembly, will consider the need for some effective means of ensuring that Members are bound to not misuse information when they are no longer members
That is fine; that is a statement, and that is something to look at. In reading that recommendation, it is also important to reflect that it does not suggest that Mr Milligan has misused information. In fact, the finding of the commissioner makes that clear.
I want to make the broader point that I think this whole exercise has been fraught. I think that the aim of it was to embarrass Mr Milligan. That was the intent of the motion that was put forward. It suggested that there had been breaches of the law in regard to the Electoral Act, privacy legislation and a whole raft of things, and the commissioner has made it clear that that is just not true.
You could argue that that is part of the cut and thrust of politics—that, from time to time, Labor members and Greens members will come in here and attempt to attack Liberals baselessly. That is what has happened here; it is a baseless attack on a Liberal by the Greens and Labor. That is not unsurprising. We see it a lot. Perhaps they have nothing better to do than to come in here and cast aspersions and try and sling mud. I expect to see more of it. There will be more mudslinging from across the chamber at the Canberra Liberals.
Ms Burch did this as Ms Burch. In fact, there was a ruling from the chair, Mr Pettersson, that Ms Burch was doing this as a member, not as the Speaker. Ms Burch, from the floor, tried to argue, “No, I’m doing it as the Speaker,” even though there had been a ruling the other way. This has caused some consternation, I have to say. If members of the Greens and the Labor Party want to get down into the bearpit, on the floor, and sling mud at the Liberals baselessly, we will fire back and