Page 2634 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 28 June 2011

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government whip. Given the actions of Mr Hargreaves last week, has he met the standards required for him continuing to take an extra allowance under this act, should he consider resigning or should you remove him from that position?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. I am very satisfied, as I said this morning, that Mr Hargreaves’s comment late last week was inappropriate. He has apologised for that and any offence that it caused. I also put it in the context of last week, in that it was a very robust time in this place, where there were a number of interjections from both sides of the chamber. I think my view on this is that we all need to pull our socks up and behave a bit better in this chamber. But I do not see any reason why any further action is required, other than what has been offered to date, which is a most genuine and most sincere apology.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary?

MR SESELJA: Should there be a code of conduct for those holding the position of government whip, and will you undertake to develop such a code?

MS GALLAGHER: Interestingly enough, that is a discussion I have been having with the Chief Minister and Cabinet Directorate, around whether or not it is appropriate that there be a code of conduct for all members in this place. I think it is a good idea that needs to be pursued, and I welcome the Leader of the Opposition’s support for such a code.

MR SMYTH: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, what do you say to the female officers in your public service that a senior government member can make personal sexist attacks and get away with no repercussions? Will you tell them it is just a joke?

MS GALLAGHER: I think there have been repercussions. The repercussions have been that an apology—a most sincere and genuine and public apology—has been given. That is appropriate in the circumstances in the context of which those comments were made, which was also in response to continuous and continual interjection by members of your team, Mr Seselja, about alcohol consumption and use of alcohol in relation to members on this side.

In response to that, my view is that apology has been given. It is most sincere. In my discussions with Mr Hargreaves on the weekend, he was mortified that Mrs Dunne had taken the offence she had to that comment and, on immediate understanding of that offence, sought to take action to recover, respond and apologise.

But he also mentioned to me at that time the hurt that he feels every time members of your team, Mr Seselja, interject with comments about the drink-driving incident that occurred over five years ago. That has been ongoing for five years, from members of your side—probably every member of your side. I would say to you and to all of us here that the challenge today is to understand that interjections cause hurt and that we

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