Page 2348 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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The Senate has also taken the view that royal commissions and boards of inquiry which are not courts and to which the convention does not strictly apply are unlikely to be …

And they were less likely to be influenced in their findings by parliamentary debate. I think that Commissioner Heydon is unlikely to be moved by the views of a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly about the outcomes. I call Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I might respond to your comments before I continue with my contribution to the debate. Whist I did withdraw the specific words that you required me to withdraw, I was quoting other people, Madam Speaker—

MADAM SPEAKER: Do not respond. I have made a ruling, and I made the ruling in the context of what other people have said in the past. It is about what is acceptable in this place.

MR GENTLEMAN: I understand. I will be very careful, Madam Speaker, to watch the proceedings of this Assembly over four years and see how other quotes that are made—

Dr Bourke: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order. Stop the clock.

Dr Bourke: I am seeking a ruling from you, Madam Speaker, in regard to the status of the royal commission. I understand that the royal commissioner is a retired judge; therefore he is not a member of the judiciary.

MADAM SPEAKER: Sit down. He is a royal commissioner. He is entitled to the title of “judge”. He is a member of the judiciary, even though he has retired from the High Court. For the purposes of being a royal commissioner, he is a member of the judiciary.

MR GENTLEMAN: I was coming to Mr Wall’s motion at (1)(d), which mentions the financial contribution made by the CFMEU to the Australian Labor Party. Can I remind the Assembly that it was only a few months ago, in February, that we passed the electoral amendment act, with its focus on the disclosure of political donations. On the passing of these new arrangements, Mr Hanson was quoted on Friday, 20 February by the ABC as saying that he thought the act made sure that we had the appropriate scrutiny on the political process and donations. I can assure the Assembly that all donations made to the ACT Labor Party by the CFMEU and any other union are open, recorded, in the public domain and transparent. We have nothing to hide here.

Indeed I would caution members opposite about throwing too many stones when it comes to a political party’s financial management. In recent years I seem to recall the Canberra Liberals’ failure to report a $296,000 bank overdraft until the detail was

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