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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 September 2015) . . Page.. 2994 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, this is not a conversation. You asked for a ruling and—

Mr Coe: Madam Speaker—

Mr Corbell: I am seeking your ruling, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe had the call because Mr Coe had stood, I presume to make a point of order.

Mr Coe: Yes, Madam Speaker. In response to Mr Corbell’s point of order, it is worth noting, of course, that there is a ministerial code of conduct which specifically mentions any conflicts of interest. Further to this, the Capital Metro Agency is spending a huge amount of money on probity and governance advice. With that in mind, I think it is entirely appropriate that the Minister for Capital Metro be across these issues.

Mr Corbell: On the point of order, if I may, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: This will be the last point made on the point of order before I continue to give my ruling.

Mr Corbell: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The question was quite explicit: it asked me what actions the ACT Labor Party had undertaken in relation to any refund of donations made to it. There was no reference to me and my responsibilities as Minister for Capital Metro. There was no reference in relation to any code of conduct or probity matters in relation to the administration of the Capital Metro Agency. It was strictly and solely about the conduct of the ACT branch of the Australian Labor Party. I cannot as the relevant portfolio minister for capital metro answer questions about the conduct of the ACT branch of the Australian Labor Party.

MADAM SPEAKER: The standing orders allow for questions to be asked about things which arise out of the original question or out of subsequent questions and the answers given. The original question was about when Mr Corbell, as Minister for Capital Metro, became aware of donations, when did the agency become aware of donations, and the follow-on question was: have the donations been repaid?

If there was an issue about donations—because there seems to have been a donation to the Labor Party—where the minister thought the questioning was out of order, he should have raised it when the initial question was asked. As Mr Coe has rightly pointed out, there are issues relating to conflicts of interest in codes of conduct in the continuing resolution of the Legislative Assembly and in the ministerial code of conduct, and there are issues relating to probity. I will allow the question.

MR CORBELL: Madam Speaker, I refer the member to the comments made by the secretary of the ACT branch of the Australian Labor Party in relation to these matters.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

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