The Liberal party is refusing to say whether it will continue to use comments from former emergency department clinical director Michael Hall on its election campaign material after a complaint from Labor backbencher Joy Burch.
It is also unclear whether the complaint will be referred to standards commissioner and retired judge Ken Crispin for investigation, with Liberal Speaker Vicki Dunne refusing to discuss the issue publicly.
Liberal campaign director Daniel Clode would not answer questions directly about whether Dr Hall's image would be removed from the pamphlet, which promotes the Liberals' promise for a new $395 million hospital building. He said only, "Following the very positive response from the announcement, we're adding more quotes [to the flyer], including the AMA and the nurses' union."
The issue flared last week when Ms Burch said Dr Hall's image and his comments about the need to start over with a new emergency department had been reproduced in the Liberal campaign flyer without his knowledge or permission.
Suggesting the flyer might breach the parliamentary code of conduct, which requires members to "recognise the unique position of impartiality" of public servants, Ms Burch wrote to Mrs Dunne, asking her to refer it to Dr Crispin to investigate.
Mrs Dunne is expected to refer complaints if there is sufficient evidence and the complaint is not frivolous, vexatious or only for political advantage.
The question now appears to hinge on whether Mr Hanson is responsible for the election flyer, which was authorised by Mr Clode as campaign director. Mr Clode points out that the Electoral Commissioner has oversight of electoral endorsement, not the parliamentary standards commissioner.
But Ms Burch said Mr Hanson has released the material, including in a video on his Facebook page. Mr Hanson had also told the Assembly that he had handed out copies of the Liberal plan at the hospital on Wednesday.
"He has clearly admitted his personal control over, and decision to distribute this material. Whether or not he personally authored, reviewed or approved the material, or simply possessed and distributed it, I reassert my complaint that he has potentially breached ... the code," she said.
Mr Hanson had provided an assurance that no further copies of the pamphlet would be printed, an assurance "which clearly demonstrates a high degree of personal control over the material", she said. Mr Hanson did not confirm the claim or comment on Friday.
Ms Burch second letter on Thursday, urging Mrs Dunne to act urgently.
"If you do not decide to refer my complaint by the close of the Assembly [which passed on Thursday night], I will be compelled to make public my disappointment at this failure, and what could be perceived as you as Speaker behaving in a manner of party political bias," Ms Burch said "... In the current electoral environment, the impartiality of the ACT public sector is too important to be ignored or abused."
Ms Burch took issue with Mrs Dunne for her insistence on confidentiality, given she had gone public last year when Ms Burch's own handling of the Menslink affair last year had been referred to Dr Crispin.
"I refer to my own referral to the commissioner for standards and you were on radio before you gave me the decency to be informed," Ms Burch told Mrs Dunne, with the media also been alerted when Chief Minister Andrew Barr's video endorsement of a private company had been referred to Dr Crispin.
The flyer promotes the Liberals plans for a new $395 million building at Canberra Hospital.