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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1513 ..

Report on Register of Members Interests

MR SPEAKER: I present a report of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure entitled "Register of Members Interests".

MR KAINE (5.55): Mr Speaker, I move:

That the report be adopted.

Mr Speaker, this does not require much explanation. Since 1992, in consequence of a resolution of this Assembly, members have been required to submit declarations of their various interests. It is appropriate of course that members be obliged to do so. What has happened in practice, however, is that the original resolution makes no reference to the destruction of those declarations, and over the six years since 1992 a number of members have left this place, for one reason or another. The committee considered whether or not the declarations of ex-members should be retained and concluded that they have value only while a person is a member of this place to determine whether or not there is any possible conflict of interest in the activities of a member. The conclusion was that when a person ceases to be a member of this place there is little point in having the Clerk build up a continuingly increasing roomful of declarations. The intent is to allow a sensible administrative act to take place and for the declarations of ex-members to be dispensed with.

MR CORBELL (5.56): I commend this recommendation to the Assembly. Having been involved in the discussions in the Administration and Procedure Committee, I thought it was important to highlight in the debate this evening that the decision of the committee to require that the register of interests declared by members not only for the current Assembly but also for previous Assemblies be retained was an important one. It is important because it makes sure that members of the community, members of the press and anyone else can review the actions of a particular member over the whole period of time for which they have been a member of the Assembly, not just for the current Assembly or the Assembly during which they made their most recent declaration of interests. I think that was an important accountability measure because someone can review the actions of a member during their whole period in this place and see whether when their register of interests changed there was - hopefully not - some shift in a decision they made in this place. I think it is a sensible proposition and I commend it to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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