Page 3017 - Week 08 - Thursday, 7 August 2008

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move from their house to a unit or a townhouse, want to keep their companion animal, be it a cat, a dog, a budgie in a cage or a goldfish in a bowl.

I believe that the model we have developed is a good middle way to allow pets and, in the event of disputes, having an avenue for easier resolution.

I commend the Unit Titles Amendment Bill 2008 to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Legislative Assembly (Members’ Staff) Amendment Bill 2008

Mr Berry, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BERRY (Ginninderra) (11.30): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The bill I introduce today sets out to tear out, root and branch, a practice which has occurred from the very early days of this legislature. It is a practice which has brought into disrepute this place. And I will touch on some of those issues as I work through my contribution on this bill. I said the other day, quoting Hugh McKay:

Australians view the honesty and ethics of Members of both State and Federal Parliament as only slightly better than those of car salesmen … Only seven per cent of Australians believe that Members of both State … and Federal … Parliament are of high or very high standards of honesty and ethics. The only profession rating lower than Members of Parliament is car salesmen.

I must say that, if it came to a judgement about this Assembly, just on the issue of nepotism, car salesmen really would have reason to complain about the position they hold on the list. I think it has been a practice which has bedevilled this Assembly and has detracted from its standing in the community and its ability to provide a quality legislature.

Some years ago, at different times there were eight different members employing close family members. I made a bit of a joke the other day about it being like a Christmas dinner and that all that was missing when you came here every day were the funny hats and whistles because it was a party involving a lot of family members in this place, which was very embarrassing.

I started to move on these issues, I think it was, as far back as 1994. That is a long time ago. I was trying to address an issue which I thought not only blackened this legislature, blackened the role it performed, but also—in a self-interested way, because I was part of this legislature—blackened me. So it struck me that there needed to be something done about it to root out the practice.

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