Retiring ACT Legislative Assembly Speaker, Wayne Berry was on the ABC 666 news this afternoon lamenting and indicating that it is embarrassing that nepotism is very much alive, well and thriving within the ACT Legislative Assembly. (nothing on the ABC website yet)
Wayne is the Presiding member of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedures. Apparently last week the committee inquired in to the issue of MLAs employing family and close relatives as staff members. I have checked the Legislative Assembly website and the Hansard and Report from this inquiry is not yet on the website, I also rang the Speakers office and they confirmed that the details were not yet published.
Whilst there is a “Members Code of Conduct” that explicitly forbids such conduct from occurring apparently there is no way for the code to actually be enforced. Hence some MLAs are flaunting the code and engaging in nepotism. These MLAs ought to be publicly identified.
Wayne has come out against MLAs engaging in such activity on the basis that it sends the wrong message to the electorate. I have always respected the way that Wayne Berry is always prepared to speak his mind, and cross the floor on matters of principle. In this respect it is a pity that he will be retirng at the end of this term.