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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3441 ..

Mr Humphries: I do not see why.

MS FOLLETT: If members do not see why, I suggest they take better advice on the legislation that governs our position here as elected members. Mr Speaker, the matter is not simple; it is not straightforward. It is not by any means a matter of us, as members of the Assembly, continuing appropriate links with the community. We would all seek to do that. But those links cannot be of a sort that would involve us in a conflict between our official duty as elected representatives and our private interests.

The interests of people who continue to own businesses, who continue to trade with that business name, most certainly have to be looked at very clearly, especially when those members hold ministerial appointments. It is abundantly clear to me that, were the interest that a member held not a private business but, say, a public sector appointment, there would be quite clear conflict. I do not see any difference. I would urge the Government not to take this matter lightly. Ministers have lost their jobs over a hell of a lot less than this. It is a matter which does need the closest, most careful consideration, and I am very sorry that we have had such a lightweight response from members opposite.

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (11.41): I will be very brief. I always, in these circumstances, try to make the speeches as small as the persons delivering them. Ms Follett thought Mrs Carnell's and Mr Humphries's contributions were simplistic. I am still searching for a word to describe the contribution she just made. I think, Ms Follett, there is a difference between a public servant continuing to be paid out of the public purse and being a member of this Assembly, and a small business person - - -

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: There is no question of a public servant continuing to be paid. The self-government Act says that you must resign. I do not want to be misinterpreted.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I think that point was made, Mr De Domenico. I think leave of absence was mentioned, as I recall.

Ms Follett: Without pay.

MR SPEAKER: Without pay? Did you say that? I am not sure that "without pay" was mentioned.

Ms Follett: It was. Mr Speaker, on the point of order, I assure you that it was.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you.

MR DE DOMENICO: Ms Follett has made her contribution. She knows what she said.

Ms Follett: I do not want to be misinterpreted, thank you.

MR DE DOMENICO: I am not misinterpreting you at all.

Ms McRae: Yes, you are.

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