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Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Page: 12427

Mr BIDGOOD (7:00 PM) —Mr Speaker, on indulgence: this afternoon at an event I took photographs of a serious incident. I later passed those photographs to a news organisation in return for a donation to charity connected to disabilities. My actions were highly insensitive and inappropriate. I am tonight writing a letter of apology to the family involved. I deeply regret my actions and I apologise once again for any offence that I have caused.

The SPEAKER —First of all, I thank the member for North Sydney for indicating to me that he was going to raise this matter. I have not had sufficient time to give consideration to the possible actions that I can take. Intuitively, my immediate reaction is that I do not think that I have a power of inquiry, but I do not want to be definitive about that at this stage. I hope the member for North Sydney will be happy if I consider what possible actions I can take in cognisance of what he has put to me and in cognisance of what the member for Dawson has put by way of response. This is in no way a definitive statement, and I apologise for that. The best way of handling this is to at least consider it in a proper way, trying to lessen any emotional attachment to the question that has been put to me. The thing that I am clear in my own mind about is that this is yet another reminder that it is probably time that this House considers a code of conduct.