Page 3884 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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benefit from a club, he stood aside from these votes. He set a standard and that standard simply was that where you have an interest or where you receive moneys you should stand aside. I think it is imperative that members not have a conflict of interest when voting on bills; in particular, that they are not in a position where they can be accused of having that conflict of interest.

The Ministerial Code of Conduct—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth! The standing orders provide for the settlement of conflict of interest. That is a matter for the Assembly to decide. It is not to be decided by way of imputation.

MR SMYTH: But that is the whole nature of the debate, Mr Speaker, about whether or not it is being done.

MR SPEAKER: If you want to move a motion that Labor Party members have a conflict of interest, you should move the motion in accordance with the standing orders.

MR SMYTH: That is the whole point of this motion, Mr Speaker, that standing order 156 go to admin and procedure to work out exactly how conflicts of interest are resolved. I think the problem for the community is that they do not see how this place works. They probably do not know, but there is a lot of commentary and a great deal of concern about what is occurring, particularly with poker machines and the money that comes from them. It is very important that conflict of interest resolution be quite clear. If those that potentially have a conflict of interest are involved in resolving that conflict of interest, the public will not have the certainty that they want.

It is probably an issue that will be resolved by the next Assembly rather than by this one. But there is interest out there. We have seen the interest from the now Prime Minister. We know that a certain senator will be taking a big interest in this. Indeed, he declared as recently as last week that if Kevin Rudd was interested in addressing problem gambling then perhaps what he should do is start with his own backyard. That backyard is the ACT. That backyard is the money that the Labor Party receives from the Labor Clubs and from problem gamblers to run their campaigns.

Question put:

That Mr Smyth’s motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7

Noes 8

Mrs Burke

Mr Pratt

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Dr Foskey

Mr Stefaniak

Ms Gallagher

Ms Porter

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Question so resolved in the negative.

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