Page 3790 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (11.02): I rise in support of the motion. Indeed, I think all Labor members are supportive of this motion. It simply reaffirms our commitment to the principles of the code that we have just endorsed. It is an important motion in that regard and I think it is wise that we do this at the beginning of, or soon into, the parliamentary term. Next time it will be easier, unless the next parliament is also going to revise the code. I think it is a sensible suggestion from the ethics and integrity adviser that we go through this process to reaffirm our commitment to the principles, obligations and aspirations of the code.
The ACT community have been served well by members of various political parties in this place. I do not know what makes the ACT a little bit unique in this regard, because I think other parliaments in other jurisdictions have had examples where members’ conduct has not been what the community would expect. The ACT has been fortunate. I think all of us reaffirming this code sends a very strong message that we expect that to continue.
It does serve as a reminder of our responsibilities to the community. I think these are responsibilities that all 17 of us take very seriously. When politicians have perhaps been caught conducting themselves in a way that the community would not expect they have at times used the excuse that they were not necessarily aware of all the responsibilities or they were not across all of the rules and guidelines about entitlements. I think this reaffirmation deals with that. I think all members in this place are fully aware of their responsibilities. We are reconfirming and reaffirming those today.
In terms of some of the changes that we made—and I am not reflecting on the vote of the Assembly—they were not seen to be a watering down or a walking away from the principles of the code of conduct. I think there was some concern around how particular elements would be interpreted and whether there was some duplication in the high-level principles that were outlined in the code. This is a good code of conduct. It aligns well with the ministerial code of conduct and if everyone does the right thing there should be no problem, and I hope there is not.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Legislative Assembly—proposed commissioner for standards
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.05): I move:
That the following continuing resolution be adopted:
COMMISSIONER FOR STANDARDS
That this Assembly requests the Speaker to appoint a Legislative Assembly Commissioner for Standards on the following terms:
(1) Before appointing a Commissioner the Speaker must consult with the Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and Crossbench Members.