Page 4081 - Week 13 - Thursday, 31 October 2013
members and that there is an avenue for complaints of members to be pursued where one is made, whether by a member of the public, the ACT public service or other members.
I think the challenge for this going forward will be to make sure that it is as depoliticised as possible. I think the work that we have tried to do with Mr Hanson and Mr Rattenbury has sought to achieve that. This is not necessarily about this parliamentary term. It is about all of the terms going into the future. The fact that we are establishing it and that we have been able to resolve this motion with the unanimous support of all members sends a very strong message that the office of commissioner for standards should not be abused. It is over to members of this place to make sure that it works and that it is not caught up in the hurly-burly of political activity or discourse.
The government will, with those amendments, support the motion as outlined on the notice paper today. I hope we do not need the commissioner for standards, but if it is needed I believe that the arrangements we have put in place will ensure that it operates as smoothly as possible and without political interference.
MR RATTENBURY (11.06): With the agreement of members, I will speak briefly to the amendment and then move my amendments. Further to Ms Gallagher’s comments, I also appreciate the conversation that was had yesterday in the antechamber. I think we were able to finally get focus on this matter. It has been on the paper for some time now, and I think that through that process of collaboration we have actually been able to come up with a good outcome.
I seek leave to move the amendments circulated in my name together.
MR RATTENBURY: I move:
“(1) Omit paragraph (6), substitute:
“If the Speaker receives a complaint about a Member pursuant to paragraph (5) and the Speaker believes on reasonable grounds that—
(a) there is sufficient evidence as to justify investigating the matter; and
(b) the complaint is not frivolous, vexatious or only for political advantage;
the Speaker may refer the complaint to the Commissioner for investigation and report.”.
(2) Omit paragraph (7), substitute:
“Members of the public, members of the ACT public service and Members of the Assembly may make a complaint to the Deputy Speaker about the Speaker’s compliance with the Members’ Code of Conduct or the rules relating to the registration or declaration of interests.”.