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Sex Discrimination Act 1984, Racial Discrimination Act 1975 . . Page.. 55 ..

Mr Speaker, some members of the Assembly - those who have been around for a while - might recall that the Assembly had an inquiry into a proposed code of conduct for members some years ago. In fact, the inquiry report was presented in 1991, and I believe that consideration of it lapsed because of the 1992 election. But members who have read that report - and they quite clearly do not include Mrs Carnell, or her advisers - will know that the report makes a number of recommendations regarding a possible code of conduct for all MLAs. One of the recommendations reflects, I believe, a very significant omission from Mrs Carnell's code, and that is the personal behaviour of members. I would like to read out that section of the report. It is section 5, Mr Speaker. It states:

Personal Behaviour of Members:

5. (i) Members shall act in accordance with the requirements of this Code.

 (ii) Members shall be honest in official dealings with colleagues, staff and the general public.

 (iii) Members shall not take advantage of their position to improperly influence other Members or staff in the performance of their duties, in order to gain either directly or indirectly improper advantage for themselves or for any other person or body.

 (iv) Members shall observe the provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act 1986 which prohibit sexism, racism and sexual harassment.

Mr Speaker, it will come as a surprise to Mrs Carnell, but not to many of the rest of us, that that inquiry was actually chaired by a Liberal - surprise, surprise! - expressing somewhat different views from those we hear from the current Chief Minister. I regard that last section of the personal behaviour of members as a very significant omission and one which needs to be rectified. Mr Speaker, I have said previously that it is my intention to introduce a code of ethics for all MLAs, not just for Ministers, which does address this very important area of personal behaviour of members. If Mrs Carnell and her colleagues think that is irrelevant, then I would invite them to vote accordingly; but I do not think they will have the guts.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (3.30): Mr Speaker, I must say that I think the very churlish response from those opposite to this matter really reflects very badly on their bona fides in this matter. I note that there seemed to be no concern whatever about a code of conduct in the previous six years of their party's existence in this place, until very recently when - - -

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