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Ms Follett: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Humphries is making a totally untrue statement, and I believe that his own code of conduct would rule that out. He knows full well that it was my Government that introduced that statement of pecuniary interests and addressed itself to the code of ethics for members.
MR HUMPHRIES: The Assembly did, not your Government.
Ms Follett: He is misleading the Assembly.
MR HUMPHRIES: I might continue, Mr Speaker. The fact is that Ms Follett and her party have shown no interest in matters to do with the personal conduct of members of this Assembly.
Ms Follett: Do not tell lies.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, Ms Follett asked me not to - - -
Ms Follett: I withdraw that, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you.
MR HUMPHRIES: Thank you. Mr Speaker, the fact of life is that this Opposition has had no interest whatever in this matter, until very recently when they saw the opportunity to jump on a band wagon to take advantage of a particular matter facing a member of this Assembly, to their own limited political advantage. For them to rise in this place as the champions of good conduct and high standards of ministerial propriety, frankly, sits very poorly with the facts in this matter.
The fact of the matter is that Mrs Carnell has tabled in this place a significant extension of the responsibilities which people who hold office in this place must adhere to as Ministers. The great advantage of this particular code, incidentally, is that you can actually see it - unlike the so-called code which Mr Berry referred to on the radio this morning, which he said Ministers in his Government were bound by but which, of course, none of the rest of us have ever actually seen. I challenge Mr Berry - who said that he was keen for things to be tabled, for open government and so on - to actually table this mysterious, unreferred to, anonymous code of conduct which he says governed Ministers in the previous Government. I look forward to his taking up that challenge.
Mr Berry: If you put the mascot on the field, you expect him to get done over. Do not send Harold again.
MR HUMPHRIES: Is that a yes, Mr Berry? I think it is not. Mr Speaker, there are significant advantages in this particular code. First of all, as Ms Follett notes, staff of Ministers are being added to the code. Why is this significant? It needs only a small amount of imagination to conjure up a situation where a very serious conflict of interest could be seen to arise by virtue of a member of a Minister's staff, for example, accepting a gift in an area where the person giving that gift might be seen to exercise some influence over a Minister. I am astonished that Ms Follett cannot see the reason that you would extend a code of conduct to cover such people.