Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 July 2018) . . Page.. 2460 ..
Ms J Burch: I am happy to take the seat.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: There are a couple of things. We could adjourn the debate so that the Speaker can obtain advice on the matter from the Clerk.
Mr Coe: On that matter, given that Ms J Burch has just engaged in this debate, it would be very difficult for her to now take the chair.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would prefer to put some space between Ms Burch’s comments on the point of order and her position as the Speaker.
This is a constitutional matter; it relates to section 15 of the self-government act. The code of conduct clearly relates to section 15 of the self-government act. Many of the issues have possibly been canvassed. I would like to put on the record that perhaps I, too, have a conflict of interest, having a close family member who works in construction. I do not know whether that is an issue for this case.
I am entirely in the hands of the Assembly. One option would be for us to adjourn this debate, let the Speaker seek advice from the Clerk on the matter, and come back and deal with it on the next day of sitting. I am entirely in the hands of the Assembly, if that is what the Assembly wants to do.
Ms Cody: This is ridiculous.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am getting the feeling that Ms Le Couteur might want to make a contribution.
Ms Le Couteur: I am feeling that I probably should make a contribution. I have two things to say. It is well known that all members of the ALP are members of unions; my understanding is that it is a requirement for them to be a member of a union.
Ms Orr: It is actually not.
Ms Le Couteur: I thought it was.
Ms Cody: It used to be.
Ms Le Couteur: Okay; it used to be a requirement. But it is—
Mr Coe: It does not mean they are not conflicted, though. A declaration does not mean you are not conflicted.
Ms Le Couteur: No; I agree. A declaration does not mean you are not conflicted. However, I will assume that this issue has been well debated within this Assembly and there is adequate precedent; it is just that the collective memory here is not good enough to dredge up the last bit of advice from the Clerk. I suggest that, assuming that advice must exist, we adjourn for long enough to get that advice from the Clerk. It must exist.