Members Code of Conduct

[11.50 a.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, I thank the member for Hobart for bringing this forward and also the committee for the time it spent putting it together. I note the comments by the member for Windermere that it has been going on for a very long time.

I would think that most people in the community would assume we already have a code of conduct. I really believe they would. It is something they would take as a given, that there would be a code of conduct for members of parliament, as there are for so many others. Anything that helps our standing in the community - I think it was the last one on member conduct, 'conducts themselves in Parliament in ways that will protect the public interest, and enhance public confidence and trust in Parliament'. Knowing what many people say about politicians and parliamentarians, anything that can help them have a better regard for members of parliament is of benefit.

It is a very long statement of values and standards. I appreciate all the work that has gone into it. There was not a need to read it out again. I did note when the member for Hobart -

Mr Valentine - I was not keen to read it out again.

Ms ARMITAGE - It is on Hansard, so that is what is important.

Mr Valentine - When I was reading it in, I was reflecting on exactly what it said. It is quite interesting.

Ms ARMITAGE - It really is, when you read it. I note, member for Windermere, that sometimes you get information you think might be correct, and you might say it in this place, but then you discover that there might have been something else that went with that which needs to be added. It is important that what we say on the public record is factual. I note also that it is important we do not use parliamentary privilege to say things that otherwise we might not say. To me, if you cannot say it outside the parliament, you should not use those words within the parliament. You should feel safe to say that as well.

I also note the part about the outside employment. It is always interesting. I have done some work with the AMA over the last 20 years. People say, 'Oh, you work with the AMA'. I think, 'Yes, but you do not realise I actually only do three hours a month, having dinner with people'. But some people can turn something into a huge job which actually is not. I have to admit I did resign from them at one stage when I felt I could not make all these meetings, not that there are many, there are only 10 dinner meetings a year anyway. They said, 'That is all right, turn up when you can'. I do not attend that many meetings, but I am pleased to see that there. Some employment, as with the doctors, can enhance what you do and give you information that you might not otherwise get and that is really useful in your community service. If it does not impinge, my work with the AMA is three to four hours once a month, having dinner if I can make it, if parliament is not sitting and I find that is of benefit. I am pleased to see that in there and that you are not ruling out that we can do something that could enhance our jobs and be of benefit to the community.

Upholding the principles of respect, justice and inclusion: realistically, everything listed here is a given, and most people would assume we have it already. I am very pleased to see it will be same as downstairs. I would think that all members of state parliament should have the same code of conduct and should adhere to it. I will support it. I thank the committee for the work it has done.

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