27 August 2005

ACT pollies' conduct now coded

| Kerces
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The ACT Legislative Assembly passed its own parliamentary code of conduct yesterday, bringing it into line with Tasmania, NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

According to the Canberra Times (but not online), the code covers areas including conflict of interest, disclosure of pecuniary interests, receipt of gifts, use of confidential information and conduct as employers.

However there is no formal punishment for anyone who breaches the code. Wayne Berry, who porposed the code, said members in breach of it would be punished by the voters. Hands up who will remember any breaches made this year by the time we get to the polls in 2008.

Greens MLA Deb Foskey moved for several amendments to be made to the code, but only one, requiring that members “extend professional courtesy and respect” to all Assembly staff, was passed.

Among the amendements not passed was one to make members responsible for the actions of their staff.

In a press release (also not yet online), Dr Foskey said, “ACT Labor and Liberal parties have endorsed ‘Children Overboard’ behaviour where members can hide behind the actions of their staff.”

She also proposed that staffers of sitting members must “declare their position when participating or raising questions at public meetings, consultations and community events, and in the media” and that it would be the members’ responsibility to ensure this happened. This is presumably in response to the recent letter writing scandal (see also here).

UPDATED The Greens’ press release is now online.

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And how much are we paying these tossers to sit around wasting time coming up with these laws that end up having no substance????

And as for Deb Foskey: enjoy the time you have left in the Assembly babe, because you won’t be there after the next election, you over-paid freeloading bludger.

I’m sure she’ll now be able to use the mantle of ‘conflict of interest’ when she is asked to answer questions regarding public housing from now on.

As you said K; there are no penalties for a breach of code and because of this it is not binding. It’s a stunt designed to make the constituents of the ACT more trusting, lulling them into a state of soft-headed security.


Yet another gross waste of time and money in the assembly. Which we have funded.

Furthermore, I can probably think of a few more ammendments which might stick is Deb Foskey’s throat. But let’s not get into all that again…

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