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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3431 ..

Mr Kaine: A very short one - 31/2 minutes.

MR BERRY: I think I have made my point, Trevor. Mr Speaker, section 14 of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act talks about how a member might be disqualified, and it goes on in some detail about the circumstances that would give rise to the vacation of office by a member if he offended against certain parts of that Act. All of those issues are matters that should come under the notice of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure for report. Finally, to ensure that there is a process of natural justice, there ought to be a complaints and investigation procedure, which in my view ought to set out the means by which a member could defend himself or herself. I suppose that, at the end of the day, we could end up with a situation where the right of appeal comes back to this chamber, if there is to be some sort of right of appeal.

I think there is a need for a comprehensive code of conduct for all members of the Legislative Assembly, and the appropriate committee to deal with that, of course, is the Administration and Procedure Committee. It may be that many members in this chamber have no appreciation of what conflict of interest is. It seems to me that, amongst the ranks of the Government, they do not have the same appreciation of conflict of interest as I do. I know, Mr Speaker, that I was a great supporter of the code of practice adopted by the Follett Government, and ultimately adopted by the Howard Government, which provided a stiff code of conduct.

Mr Humphries: From Rosemary's Government?

MR BERRY: No, I do not say that it was all the idea of Ms Follett. It was a standing practice in many places, as I understood it. It has certainly been adopted by John Howard, but very carefully skirted around by Mrs Carnell's Government. Mr Speaker, you have to ask yourself the reason why that code of practice was skirted around. It very clearly was written around a peculiar set of circumstances. I urge members to support this motion to ensure that we develop a code of conduct and that we put that before the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure for inquiry.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (11.04): Mr Speaker, is this not a tragic situation? This is budget week, a really important week for this Assembly. Today, the Leader of the Opposition responds to my budget, and what is the big issue of the week for Mr Berry? Cough mixture. That is a big issue in budget week for Mr Berry. It is cough mixture week. He has moved away from the snake oil onto the cough mixture, Mr Speaker, and I think it really has to be looked at in that way.

This side of the house has no problems whatsoever with a code of conduct for all members. In fact, one of the first things we did when we came into government was develop a code of conduct for Ministers. Contrary to Mr Berry's statement about codes of conduct, it was actually adopted from the South Australian approach, an approach that we believe very strongly is an appropriate approach. Mr Speaker, if you remember,

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