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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3426 ..

Reference - Code of Conduct for Members of the Legislative Assembly

MR BERRY (10.43): I move:

That the development of a code of conduct for all Members of the Legislative Assembly be referred to the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure for inquiry and report with particular reference to:

(a) parliamentary and personal conduct;

(b) conflict of interest;

(c) gifts;

(d) use of public office;

(e) the application of section 14 of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Commonwealth); and

(f) a complaints and investigation procedure.

Mr Speaker, this motion arises from attendance by Mr Moore at an international conference on public sector ethics, past and future, held in Queensland from 5 to 9 August 1996. Mr Moore attended on behalf of the Administration and Procedure Committee. Arising from Mr Moore's attendance at that meeting, the Administration and Procedure Committee decided that this motion should be put before the chamber in order to develop a code of conduct for all members of the Legislative Assembly. As a result of his report to the committee, that move was endorsed by the committee and so it arrives in this chamber.

Over the years there has been much criticism of politicians, for various reasons, and I will go to the summary of issues raised at one of the sessions, which is described as an informal workshop of parliamentarians and parliamentary officers. It reads in part:

What are the purposes of a Code of Conduct?

Are Codes of Conduct being adopted for appropriate reasons?

I think we can debate that issue. It continues:

To what extent is it generally expected that Codes of Conduct will lift the standing of Parliamentarians in the eyes of the community? ...

To what extent, if any, will Codes of Conduct cover Parliamentarians' conduct in the Chamber, criminal behaviour, the breaking of election promises and everyday personal behaviour of Parliamentarians in community situations? ...

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