Page 2471 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 1 August 2018

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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Conflict of interest—standing order 156 and continuing resolution 5

Statement by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: I wish to make a statement concerning a point of order that was raised by Mr Wall during consideration of the Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2018. Mr Wall’s point of order related to the application of continuing resolution 5 of the members’ code of conduct, particularly point 12, which states that members should actively seek to avoid or prevent conflict of interest or the perception of such a conflict. Mr Wall also referred to standing order 156 as to whether members of this place may in fact have a conflict of interest, directly or indirectly, that should or could preclude them from voting on legislation.

Can I draw members’ attention to a ruling by Speaker Rattenbury on 25 March 2010 where, having been asked for guidance concerning a possible conflict of interest, he advised that it was not in the Speaker’s power to make a decision on the matter, that it was up to the Assembly, and that the member raising the point of order would need to move a substantive motion seeking that certain members be precluded from the debate if they believed there were such a conflict.

Can I also remind members that, where members believe there is a breach of the code of conduct, there is a process outlined in continuing resolution 5A for that breach to be investigated by the Commissioner for Standards.

Finally, there was some discussion about whether debate could be adjourned after a member had indeed closed the debate. Standing order 65 does provide that, except for a member who has spoken to a question or has the right of reply, any member can adjourn debate. The problem last night was that there was no debate to adjourn, as standing order 49 stipulates that debate is closed after the mover of the original motion has replied.

Alternative methods to deal with the situation were for a member to seek leave to adjourn debate, or wait until the bill had progressed to the detail stage before moving to adjourn. I hope that clarifies the matters that arose yesterday evening.

Government Agencies (Land Acquisition Reporting) Bill 2018

Mr Coe, pursuant to notice, presented the bill.

Title read by Clerk.

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