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Monday, 3 December 2018
Page: 12163


Ms SHARKIE (Mayo) (10:51): I am pleased to second this motion for the second reading of the bill of the member for Indi, the National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018. There is a huge body of work that she has done with this bill and also the National Integrity Commission Bill 2018. This is important. At some point, this place needs to step forward and do the right thing, because right now the Australian public thinks very little of us—all of us. They lump us all in the same boat whether we spend $38,000 on our internet at home or not. They think we are all the same, that we all have our snouts in the trough and that all of us here are self-serving. They believe we are guided by self-interest, vested interests or the interests of our donors. They believe this is a horrible place to work—a place with bullying and poor behaviour. Every time I meet with a school—and I meet with at least two schools a week—after I've given a talk about what it's like to be the member for Mayo and how exciting this role is, I say to the students: 'Would you like to be the future member for Mayo? We need people with a heart and a mind.' No hands go up. They believe this is not a good job. They want to have a job where they're respected. Unfortunately, the behaviour of many people in this place has let all of us down.

I commend the member for Indi for this work. This is a huge body of work. If we want the Australian community to trust us again, if we want the Australian community to believe us again and to hold us in high regard, then we need to do the work in this place in order for this to happen. I the urge government and opposition: get behind this. We can't continue to have stories in the media where people are accepting free flights, bags of Rolexes or, as I said, $38,000 worth of internet that they just happened to pay back so it's all okay now. No, it's not okay. Our behaviour in this place needs to lift. We need to treat each other with respect and we need to treat the Australian community with respect in order for that to change. So I commend this bill to the House, and I look forward to working with parliament on it.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Rob Mitchell ): The time allotted for this debate has expired. The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next day of sitting.