Yesterday the Liberals tried to censure Simon Corbell for the ongoing failures at the prison.
It failed due to lack of support by the Greens.
In today’s Canberra Times the Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has expressed frustration at the never ending censure motions being moved by the Liberals.
Which did make us wonder what the threshold for the Greens support of a censure motion actually is.
So we asked, and this is the reply from Amanda Bresnan – Greens whip and manager of business:
The Greens take motions of no-confidence and censure very seriously, and we hope that all parties in this Assembly treat this matter the same level of seriousness.
The Greens look to the MLA’s Code of Conduct and the Ministerial Code of Conduct when considering whether the actions of a Minister warrant a Vote of No Confidence or a censure. The Codes assists us in objectively assessing whether or not the conduct of a Minister warrants formal criticism from the Assembly, or even more seriously, relief of Ministerial responsibility.
The most serious aspects of these Codes are those matters regarding corruption, as such actions can severely breach the public’s confidence in our system of parliament.
Based on these Codes of Conduct, some of the other key questions that we can ask about a Minister’s actions are:
• Did the action damage public confidence in the system of government or public sector management?
• Did the Minister wilfully or knowingly mislead the Assembly in respect of their ministerial responsibilities?
• Has the Minister acted honestly and respectfully towards all MLAs, public officials and the public?
• Has the Minister failed to exercise due diligence, care and attention in relation to their duties and responsibilities as Minister?
We do not believe censures or Votes of no confidence are warranted because of reasonable policy differences. Rather a level a misfeasance or impropriety must be present.
We also do not think it is appropriate to censure a minister simply because with the benefit of hindsight things have not worked out as we would have liked when there are many factors beyond a Minister’s control at play.