JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

MLA code of conduct trimmed of requirement to treat citizens with respect

A requirement to treat all citizens of the ACT with respect and courtesy, suggested by Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, will not be included in the code.

A requirement to treat all citizens of the ACT with respect and courtesy, suggested by Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, will not be included in the code. Photo: Rohan Thomson

A requirement for ACT politicians to treat citizens with courtesy has been stripped from a new code of conduct for the ACT Legislative Assembly.

Labor and Liberal MLAs used their combined numbers to amend the updated code of conduct, which was proposed by Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury.

The Assembly also agreed to the appointment of a new Commissioner for Standards.

The commissioner would be employed on a retainer and could investigate complaints against MLAs.

Mr Rattenbury was pleased that the Assembly agreed to the code. But he was disappointed that a requirement to treat all citizens of the ACT with courtesy and to respect the diversity of their backgrounds, experiences and views would not be included in the code.

“I think that it is our job to treat all citizens of the territory with courtesy. That does not mean that we have to agree with them and obviously quite frequently we don’t,’’ he said.

Mr Rattenbury was concerned that the major parties had also replaced the world “will’’ with “should’’ in several places.

“So for example, ‘will at all times act with integrity, honesty and diligence’, has been replaced with ‘members should act with integrity, honesty and diligence’,’’ Mr Rattenbury said.

“I’m glad it’s optional for everybody and I hope that makes members feel more comfortable because that’s clearly something that was required in order to get agreement to move this forward.’’

Changing “will’’ with “should’’ reflected language in recommendations from Stephen Skehill, the Assembly’s ethics and integrity advisor.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said it was important that the Assembly had a strong code of conduct.

“I think we’ve been very well-served by members in this place around their conduct,’’ Ms Gallagher said.

“But it is an area where I don’t’ think you can relax. I think the community expects the highest standards from their politicians.’’

Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson also supported the amended code of conduct.

With the support of Labor, Mr Hanson moved an amendment to give the Commissioner for Standards authority to decline to investigate complaints he or she believed were frivolous, vexatious or made only for political purposes.

12 comments so far

  • The Assembly also agreed to the appointment of a new Commissioner for Standards.

    Can someone advise where this position will be advertised please.

    Commenter
    OLD DOG
    Date and time
    October 24, 2013, 1:21PM
    • Please, when have the people of Canberra ever been treated with dignity and respect since self government!

      Commenter
      MR
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      October 24, 2013, 1:41PM
      • And I suppose all ACT citizens treat members of the ACT Assembly and Federal politicians with dignity and respect! Oh the hypocrisy, MR!!!

        Commenter
        Bronte
        Date and time
        October 24, 2013, 2:53PM
    • My goodness, isn't this a perfect example of the on going ACT Green Labor Government treating its citizens as fools and incompetants.
      Wake up Canberran's, we pay their ridiculous salaries and add on's, we employ these people, they work for us so its time they took notice of ALL of us.

      Commenter
      THEDOGANDDUCK
      Date and time
      October 24, 2013, 1:42PM
      • Did you even read the article? Labor and the LIBERALS combined to pass an amended (watered down) version of the code.

        Seriously, read beyond headline.

        Commenter
        FD
        Date and time
        October 24, 2013, 2:52PM
      • Sorry FD, I certainly read the article but not having seen or heard a "Liberal" is it you said, I didn't include.,

        Commenter
        THEDOGANDDUCK
        Date and time
        October 24, 2013, 3:59PM
    • This is pure gold.

      I find it incredible they have a different code of conduct from ACT PS at all,

      But this takes the cake.

      Wake up Canberra.

      Commenter
      Steveu
      Date and time
      October 24, 2013, 2:39PM
      • I am still waiting for replies to 4 emails sent to a Labor minister over the last 2 years and all I want is to have my personal details removed from one of their webpages.I never agreed to having my photo and name on their webpage when I was included in a group photo. Seems like I am not entitled to the respect of a reply, or have my wishes met, regardless how many times one contacts them. Well I hope they also accept that when I go visit them I which will be soon, I "should" act with respect but I doubt I will be able to manage it. I think I am entitled to treat them with the same rudeness and contempt I have been treated with. Few of them would understand what respect and good manner were.

        Commenter
        Waiting for replies for 2 years
        Date and time
        October 24, 2013, 4:29PM
        • Don't worry about it too much, Shane does not reply to his emails either.

          Commenter
          Frednurk
          Date and time
          October 24, 2013, 10:14PM
      • .......and they wonder why we citizens do not treat politicians with any respect.

        Commenter
        Another Grumpyoldfart
        Date and time
        October 24, 2013, 4:33PM

        More comments

        Make a comment

        You are logged in as [Logout]

        All information entered below may be published.

        Error: Please enter your screen name.

        Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Please enter your comment.

        Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

        Post to

        You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

        Thank you

        Your comment has been submitted for approval.

        Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

        Featured advertisers

        Special offers

        Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo