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Question Without Notice: Ministers Code of Conduct

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Sam Hibbins MP
Member for Prahran
15 June 2017

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — My question is to the Premier. In the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation said she had not met with Stephen Conroy, who is both a member of the ALP national executive and is also acting as a lobbyist for the gaming industry. She went on to say she would only meet him with an independent witness, and then I understand that later she said she would not meet him at all. However, the Treasurer, I understand, has said that he has met with Mr Conroy. Premier, will you direct all your ministers not to meet with Stephen Conroy whilst he acts as both a lobbyist and an ALP factional powerbroker?

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — I thank the member for Prahran for his question. Each and every minister in the government is fully aware — when it comes to tender processes, licensing processes, all processes that are active and competitive — of their considerable obligations to always act with utmost probity.

Honourable members interjecting.

Mr ANDREWS — There is laughter from those opposite. They are struggling to work out what that term means.

I would indicate to the member for Prahran that neither I nor any of my ministers would be off having meetings, for instance, in a kitchen deciding how to rezone land. We would not be rezoning land in someone's kitchen. We would not, with the stroke of a pen — —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! Members will cease shouting across the chamber.

Mr ANDREWS — You do not like it, do you? You do not like it. Captain Probity over there does not like it very much. I tell you the other thing, member for Prahran, that we would not do. We would not, with the stroke of a pen, change Fishermans Bend's entire zoning against the advice of our department. We would not do that either. I can assure the member for Prahran that each and every member of the government is fully aware and compliant with their probity obligations.

While I am at it, there are a few other things we probably would not do. We would not necessarily take $500 000 from a gaming tycoon.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! Government members will come to order.

Mr R. Smith interjected.

Mr ANDREWS — What is more, I can inform the member for Warrandyte that in the event that we were to get the biggest donation in Australian political history, we would declare it. You always know he gets louder and louder the more upset he is. The Prince of Probity, over here — —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order!

Mr ANDREWS — I am sure he has got white shoes on under the table there — the Captain of the White Shoe Brigade!

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! The Premier will resume his seat.

Questions and statements interrupted.

SUSPENSION OF MEMBER

Member for Warrandyte

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Warrandyte will not shout at the Chair. The member for Warrandyte will leave the chamber for a period of 1 hour.

Honourable member for Warrandyte withdrew from chamber.

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE and MINISTERS STATEMENTS

Ministers code of conduct

Questions and statements resumed.

Mr Hibbins — On a point of order, Speaker, on relevance, I think the Premier has had a bit of fun with his answer, but I would ask you to direct him to actually answering the question.

The SPEAKER — Order! I ask the Premier to continue his answer and answer the question.

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — I do thank the member for Prahran for his question, and I want to again assure him that despite the numerous examples of how not to act just sitting across from me here, all of us in the government are fully aware and fully compliant with our obligations — —

The SPEAKER — Order! The Premier's time is completed.

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I have a supplementary question to the Premier, and I am glad he mentioned rules and obligations, because the federal code of conduct for lobbyists states that 'a member of a state or federal political party executive, state executive or administrative committee (or the equivalent body)' cannot be a registered lobbyist. Premier, will you commit to adding this provision to the state code of conduct so lobbyists cannot also be party political factional powerbrokers like Stephen Conroy?

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — The member for Prahran raises issues in relation to the federal code. I do not have a copy of that code in front of me, but I will take the member for Prahran's word for it as to the terms and conditions of it. I have no announcements to make about the state code today, but I am more than happy to discuss these matters with the member for Prahran — happy to.

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Sam Hibbins MP
Member for Prahran
15 June 2017
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