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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2346 ..

Dr Bourke: That is only due to his skill.

MADAM SPEAKER: That is right. And when I am making a ruling, it is quite unparliamentary to interrupt me or attempt to interrupt me. I have made a number of rulings in this place about interjections across the chamber. I have said this is a debating chamber and that I will call people to order when I think it is appropriate and necessary. But I do not expect that on all occasions members will listen to all debate in silence. It would be a very dull place if we did. I will remind members to be respectful so as not to interrupt members speaking.

MR GENTLEMAN: I remind members that this morning Mr Hanson quite rightly reminded this Assembly about the issue of domestic violence—a very important issue—and the need to produce better outcomes for the victims of family violence. However, the irony of the first motion this morning on domestic violence is not lost on me. In April COAG agreed to spend $30 million in joint funding for a national advertising campaign to reduce violence against women—violence that on average results in one woman killed each week in Australia by a partner or former partner. The contrast could not be starker. The Liberal Party is prepared to commit $80 million of taxpayers’ money to attack its political opponents at a royal commission as against $30 million for domestic violence prevention. These figures speak for themselves and tell us something about the misplaced priorities of the Liberal Party.

I have always understood the importance of the principle that people should have the presumption of innocence until proved guilty in a court of law. As I confirmed in my answers at yesterday’s question time, there can be no place in the workplace for bullying or corrupt practice. It is my view that any evidence of these practices should be referred to and appropriately dealt with and investigated by the police. Ultimately it is for a court of law to determine someone’s guilt or innocence.

Furthermore, it is my understanding that this royal commission does not afford natural justice and fails to provide union witnesses with natural justice by making serious allegations without giving them proper notice and not allowing witnesses to properly respond to the allegations made. These are not the hallmarks of natural justice; rather, they are more reminiscent of a show trial. Natural justice is not being served by this royal commission.

Mr Wall’s motion at (1)(d) mentions the financial contribution made by the CFMEU to the ACT Labor Party. I remind the Assembly that it was only a few months ago, in February, that we passed the electoral amendment act.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order! Could you sit down for a minute, please, Mr Gentleman? I cannot name the standing order at the moment, but there is a specific standing order relating to how we in this place deal with the judiciary and other courts, and that we must treat them respectfully. I think you used the term “show trial” in relation to the royal commission. It is my ruling that that reflects inappropriately on the royal commission and the royal commissioner, and I would ask you to withdraw it.

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