Local, Independant and Effective

Motion provides platform for Code of Conduct discussion

Federal Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan tabled a motion, on Tuesday 27 February 2018, in the House of Representatives aimed at encouraging a discussion about the introduction of a Code of Conduct in the Australian Parliament.

The motion, seconded by the Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, asks the Privileges and Members’ Interests Committee to develop a code of conduct for Members of Parliament and their staff. It takes into account the previously endorsed draft code of conduct contained in a discussion paper to the House of Representatives in 2011.

“In the 43rd Parliament, on 29 November 2012, the House of Representatives endorsed that draft code of conduct but it did not pass the Senate,” Ms McGowan said.

 “This new motion provides the platform to have this conversation and build upon what has already been done, in light of a change in social and community standards over the past six years.

“The motion will consider the terms of the Government’s existing Ministerial and Ministerial Staff codes of conduct, the Australian Public Service values and code of conduct, and other relevant codes of conduct including examples from the US, the UK and the Australian corporate sector.

“It requests the Privileges and Members’ Interests Committee consult with the equivalent committee in the Senate on the code of conduct with the aim of developing a uniform code for Members and Senators and their staff.”

Ms McGowan said the motion also requests the Standing Committee on Procedure develop changes to standing orders and resolutions of the House which would be necessary to give effect to a code of conduct.

Both committees are asked to report back to the House of Representatives by the beginning of the spring sitting in August.

“There have been respectful discussions with my colleagues to date and I look forward to maintaining that worthwhile debate as we progress this issue,” Ms McGowan said.

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