Page 2175 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2016

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(j) the ACT Master Builders Association statement that they are “... deeply concerned about the integrity of the ACT Government’s tendering processes”;

(k) recent comments by Mr Michael Moore that “there is the smell...” and “there is also a whiff around planning and development”; and

(l) an ACT Government Minister has called for an integrity commission to examine the conduct of the ACT Government; and

(2) support extra funding for the Auditor-General and a fully independent Public Service Commissioner in order to help restore integrity and public confidence in the ACT Government.

This motion follows on from debate we were having yesterday in the chamber on the matter of public importance as well as a series of questions that were being asked and a lot of commentary that has occurred in the media over the preceding 12 to 18 months. I think there is a reality when you take a step back and look at this, when you have one party in power, regardless of the party, for a protracted period. What we have seen very clearly is what went very sour in New South Wales with New South Wales Labor and its right faction in New South Wales. Governments, after 15 years, start to smell.

That is very much the case that we have here in the ACT. There is a smell, an odour, around this government when it comes to integrity matters. I think that what we have seen now is a position where we have this tangled web of developers, particularly right faction Labor apparatchiks, husbands and ministers, ex-members of this place, all entangled together in this sort of mire overlaid, of course, with the CFMEU.

We have seen many of their practices revealed in the trade union royal commission. We know that they have just been raided and that there are serious issues relating to the CFMEU. When you put this all in a mix—the longevity of this government, the wheeling and dealing that we are seeing from people so close to this government, and the thuggery and the issues relating to the CFMEU and its practices in this town—we have a situation where serious-minded people are very concerned about issues of integrity related to this government.

Of course, there is always going to be a perception and there will be a reality. It is difficult to navigate through that. But what we need to do is make sure that we have the processes in place and that the structures that are there are adequately resourced to restore the faith of the community that their government is an honest broker and is working in their interests, not in their own interests and that of their mates, which is increasingly the view of people when they look at this old government.

The reality is that there are currently police investigations occurring into certain deals. We have seen the removal of a minister because of her very close relationship and that of her office with the CFMEU and dealing with sensitive police information. The Auditor-General is currently conducting a number of investigations.

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