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Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Page: 3442


Mr ALBANESE (Leader of the House) (3:27 PM) —by leave—I move:

That:

(1)   the Privileges and Members’ Interests Committee (the Committee):

(a)   develop a draft Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament; and

(b)   report back to the House by the end of the Autumn 2011 sittings;

(2)   in considering the matters in paragraph 1 above, the Committee give consideration to:

(a)   the operation of codes of conduct in other parliaments;

(b)   who could make a complaint in relation to breaches of a code and how those complaints might be considered;

(c)   the role of the proposed Parliamentary Integrity Commissioner in upholding a code; and

(d)   how a code might be enforced and what sanctions could be available to the Parliament; and

(3)   the Committee consult with the equivalent committee in the Senate on the text of a Code of Conduct with the aim of developing a uniform code, together with uniform processes for its implementation for Members and Senators.

I am pleased to move this motion today. It seeks to initiate a process which will lead to the implementation of one of the commitments contained in the government’s agreements with the Independents and reflected in the agreements with the Greens. All these agreements make reference to the establishment of a parliamentary code of conduct. We have consulted with the parties to those agreements and with the Presiding Officers on the most appropriate way to move this initiative forward. This motion reflects the outcome of those consultations.

It is proposed that the Privileges and Members’ Interests Committee develop a draft code of conduct in consultation with the equivalent committee in the Senate with the aim of developing a uniform code of conduct for members and senators. It is the government’s hope and expectation that the work of these committees and the eventual adoption by parliament of a code of conduct for members and senators will make a positive contribution to parliamentary standards and the standing of parliament in the general community. I commend the resolution to the House and thank the Manager of Opposition Business for his cooperation.

Question agreed to.