Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Canberra Times . . Page.. 58 ..

It seems to me a matter of enormous hypocrisy to table and introduce into the law legislation protecting people in those positions and then, at almost the first available opportunity, to want to claw it back because it does not suit the political ends of the party that introduced it when it finds that somebody else was not in that position. I will quote only briefly from an article in the Canberra Times last Saturday - I think it is a very good article - referring to this incident:

The ALP is also annoyed the matter is not making headlines and is applying pressure to have the Minister outed.

These people should stop insulting everyone's intelligence by pretending they serve some noble purpose or are the least bit interested in seeing justice done.

What they want is a media show trial.

That, Mr Speaker, is what everybody in this Territory knows.

MR MOORE (3.38): Mr Speaker, I would like to come back to a point raised by Mrs Carnell. She said that she did not need to deal with an issue of sexual harassment because we already know that that is against the law. Mr Speaker, everything that is in this code of conduct for Ministers is an expansion of what is in the law. In fact, the laws are identified within the code of conduct itself. On page 2 it refers to sections 14, 15 and 20 of the Crimes (Offences against the Government) Act 1989. On page 5 it refers to the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act. In fact, the vast majority of what is held in this code of conduct comes back to the self-government Act and paragraph 14(1)(c), which states:

A member vacates office if the member takes or agrees to take, directly or indirectly, any remuneration, allowance, honorarium or reward for services rendered in the Assembly, otherwise than under section 73.

Mr Speaker, all members who have been here any time at all are very conscious of that part of the Act, and I am sure that new members will rapidly become very conscious of it. Obviously, Ministers are more vulnerable under that section of the Act because there are probably more opportunities for them than for other members. Mr Speaker, the point I am trying to make is that the law already covers much of what is in here. This expands upon the law and provides details. Just as one could argue that an expansion on the law mentioned is appropriate, one could also argue that it is appropriate to expand upon the law covering acts of discrimination or harassment, or issues of that kind.

Rather than refer to the accusations that are outstanding before the Human Rights Commission with reference to one of our Ministers, I think it is appropriate for us to move back to a Minister in New South Wales who did break the law in this area - Mr Griffiths, who resigned his position as Minister. If I remember correctly, he also resigned from the parliament, although I am not sure whether that was the case.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .