Page 1286 - Week 04 - Thursday, 10 April 2008

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MR BERRY (Ginninderra) (12.06): One of the most important points I made in my introductory speech on this motion was that this was an incremental move to improve the services available to members in the Assembly. Another important mention was the fact that this was a matter which was dealt with by way of consultation with the administration and procedure committee, which all members are involved in. To my way of thinking, it is extremely important in developing these ideas that a consultative model be adopted.

This is a bit of a bolt out of the blue for me. Whilst in the purest sense I think you could say that, if one were to establish an investigative model as was touched on by the legal advice which I have tabled in this place, there might be a need for an act to give authority to those investigations and decisions, I am confident that at this point in time the best way forward is the model which has been discussed and proposed here today.

The role of the ethics and integrity adviser is set out in the motion. The way in which the adviser conducts his or her business is set out in the motion. The manner of appointment and dismissal is set out in the motion. The remuneration is not—that is yet to be settled—but the Clerk advises me that, because it is a part-time position and ought not be that onerous, it will be able to be accommodated within the Assembly budget. Any other relevant matter really is something which this Assembly may come to deal with from time to time as the position settles. It may at some future point be a decision of the Assembly to establish by legislation a stronger model, an investigative model and so on, but I do not think that is in the minds of members at this point, and for those reasons I will be opposing the amendment.

It is important that we establish the adviser in a climate of accommodation between us all and, whilst I acknowledge the opposition’s idea about this, I would have liked to have heard about it a little earlier in order that I might address some of the issues there, though I think what I have said in my response to the amendment would have been relevant had it been raised with me in the past, because I think—and our colleague Mr Mulcahy has mentioned this—that almost all of that suggested in the amendment is accommodated in the motion.

I thank the opposition, though, for putting forward this proposition. It is something that I hope the Assembly is not driven to because of events at some point of time in the future. The aim of the model that I have put forward is to ensure, if possible, that we are not driven to a model which requires that sort of investigative model armed with the power to make decisions in relation to these things at some point in the future. I repeat: this is an incremental improvement on the services available to members.

Question put:

That Mr Seselja’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

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