Page 2176 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 August 2015
This came about because Mr Hanson and the Canberra Times through Kirsten Lawson made a series of serious allegations against me. It is easy to make serious allegations, but it matters not how many times those allegations are made when they do not provide the truth. It is easy to stand and smear, and to put out commentary to the public without substance, and that, to me, is what this was about.
It provided an opportunity for Mr Hanson and others to bring my family and some very difficult times into this place—unprecedented scrutiny of me and of my family’s actions. I found it, as I said then, heartbreaking and disturbing that that was allowed to be the case. Each and every member of the Canberra Liberals joined in that festivity, in trying to implicate me for something I did not do. They had no boundaries or barriers as to how they were prepared to use my son as a political football in this debate.
In short, when I read through this report, I looked with interest at the material that Mr Hanson provided to Dr Ken Crispin. What was missing, though, was the statements that I made in this Assembly, the responses to questions in question time in this Assembly and the public comments made by Menslink. Menslink have put into the public domain free and open comment that I have provided. This is my use of language, because every time I speak about this I get emotional. They provided the frank and open comment that I did not interfere or ask them to do anything improper.
I will finish by simply quoting a couple of paragraphs from the review. Paragraph 111 states:
In my opinion, the evidence does not establish that the Minister committed any breach of the principles expressed in the Code of Conduct either by failing to intervene in order to prevent her son visiting ACT schools or to ensure that such visits did not involve any breach of the Act.
Paragraph 129 states:
She also cooperated fully with the investigation as required … I do not believe that the section required her to do more.
Paragraph 130 states:
There may be situations in which the general duty to act in the public interest will require a Member to offer a full and frank explanation on his or her own initiative. However, the section does not, in my opinion, impose a general requirement for Members who have not been guilty of any misconduct to provide pre-emptive explanations in case the finger of suspicion may come to fall upon them at some time in the future.
I will conclude by reading the final sentence in this report. Paragraph 133 states:
I recommend that the complaint be dismissed.